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Third STS-118 Spacewalk on Tap Today


*Third STS-118 Spacewalk on Tap Today*

Astronauts participate in an educational event with students from Boise, 
Idaho Image above: Clockwise from left are STS-118 mission specialists 
Dave Williams, Barbara Morgan and Alvin Drew and Expedition 15 Flight 
Engineer Clay Anderson. The astronauts participated Tuesday in an 
educational event with students asking questions from the Discovery 
Center in Boise, Idaho. Image: NASA

STS-118 crew members will prepare for future International Space Station 
assembly when they conduct the missionís third spacewalk. The excursion, 
scheduled to begin at 11:01 a.m. EDT(1501 UTC), will be conducted by 
STS-118 Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio and Expedition 15 Flight 
Engineer Clay Anderson.

The spacewalking duo will prepare the Port 6 (P6) truss and its solar 
arrays for relocation from atop of the station to the end of the Port 5 
truss when STS-120 visits later this year. Their tasks include the 
relocation of an antenna from the P6 to the Port 1 (P1) truss, retrieval 
a transponder for return to Earth and the relocation of two rail carts 
on the stationís Integrated Truss Structure. They will install a new 
transponder on the P1, which along with the relocated antenna will 
upgrade the stationís communications capability.

Mastracchio and Anderson will also retrieve two material experiments 
from the stationís exterior. The experiments will be analyzed by 
scientists on Earth.

Todayís spacewalk will be Mastracchioís third of the mission. Anderson, 
who arrived at the station in June, conducted his first spacewalk on 
July 23 with Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Mission Specialist Tracy Caldwell will resume her role as STS-118ís 
spacewalk coordinator and Pilot Charles Hobaugh will be at the controls 
of the stationís robotic arm.

The spacewalk is slated to last 6.5 hours.

*Mission Management Team Update*

Mission managers have determined that damage to a small section of 
Endeavourís heat shield poses no threat to crew safety or mission 
operations. However, they are discussing options for possible repair 
work that would ensure preparations on the ground for Endeavourís next 
flight will go more smoothly. The damage occurred during the climb to 
orbit on Aug. 8.

+ View video of tile damage 

*Orbiter Thermal Protection System Inspection and Repair Techniques*
STS-114 Press Kit excerpt, July 2005 + Identifying and repairing tile 
damage in flight (444 Kb pdf) 
+ Orbiter's Thermal Protection System 
+ Thermal Protection System Fact sheet 
+ 'How Things Work' Thermal Protection System video 

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