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Spacewalkers Upgrade Communications System,


*Spacewalkers Upgrade Communications System, Prepare for P6 Relocation*

Flight Engineer Clay Anderson holds a Crew Equipment Translation Aid 
cartImage above: Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Clay Anderson holds a 
Crew Equipment Translation Aid cart as he rides on the end of the 
International Space Station's robotic arm during STS-118's third 
spacewalk. Image: NASA TV

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson are rolling through their 
scheduled activities as they work outside the International Space Station.

They are currently setting the stage for the relocation of the Port 6 
(P6) truss and its solar arrays from atop the station to the end of the 
Port 5 truss segment. They are moving two Crew Equipment Translation Aid 
carts along the Integrated Truss Structure rail system. This will allow 
the stationís arm to perform the P6 relocation work during STS-120.

Earlier in the spacewalk, the duo relocated an antenna from the Port 6 
(P6) to the Port 1 (P1) truss. In addition to the antenna relocation, 
the spacewalkers installed new transponder and signal processor in an 
S-band communications system upgrade.

Before the excursion ends, Mastracchio and Anderson will retrieve two 
materials science experiments from the stationís exterior. The 
experiments were deployed in August 2006 and will be returned to Earth 
for analysis.

Todayís spacewalk is 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 is the spacewalk coordinator and Pilot 
Charles Hobaugh is at the controls of the stationís robotic arm.

The spacewalk is slated to end at 5:07 p.m. (2107 UTC)

*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 

*Mission Information*
+ View Barbara Morgan Video 
+ STS-118 Mission Overview 
+ STS-118 Fact Sheet (900 Kb PDF) 
+ STS-118 NASA TV Schedule 
+ STS-118 Briefing Animations 
+ STS-117 Mission Archive 
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