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Astronauts Wrap Up Third STS-121 Spacewalk



Mission Specialists Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers successfully completed 
STS-121ís third and final spacewalk at 2:31 p.m. EDT today. The 
demonstration of orbiter heat shield repair techniques was the objective 
of the 7-hour, 11-minute excursion outside Space Shuttle Discovery and 
the International Space Station.

The spacewalkers tested repair techniques on pre-positioned heat shield 
materials in the payload bay. Among the tools they used were a 
space-certified caulk gun and a variety of spatulas to manipulate the 
test materials.

The duo also used an infrared camera to get a 60-second recording of two 
damaged tile samples. The camera is designed to capture temperature 
gradients that will indicate invisible damage.

Near the end of the spacewalk, Mission Control notified Sellers and 
Fossum that they would get extra time outside the shuttle/station 
complex to perform a get-ahead task. The space walkers relocated a 
grapple fixture from a cargo carrier to an ammonia tank on the S1 truss. 
This sets the stage for the tank's removal during a future spacewalk.

Pilot Mark Kelly coordinated the spacewalk activities and Commander 
Steve Lindsey oversaw shuttle and video systems. Mission Specialists 
Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson were the robot arm operators.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 13 crew continued to load the Leonardo 
multi-purpose logistics module with station experiment results and other 
items returning to Earth. Leonardo will return to Discoveryís payload 
bay on Friday, setting the stage for STS-121ís departure on Saturday.
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