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Spacewalk Ends Early; Major Tasks Completed


*Spacewalk Ends Early; Major Tasks Completed*

Flight controllers decided just before 3 p.m. EDT to end today’s 
spacewalk early because of damage to the outer layer of one of Mission 
Specialist Rick Mastracchio’s gloves. Even though there is no threat to 
his safety, the decision was made as a precaution.

His spacewalking partner, Clay Anderson, is finishing with the retrieval 
of a transponder on the Port 6 truss. Mastracchio will remain in the 
Quest airlock until Anderson returns to the airlock following finishing 
that task.

Retrieval of the two MISSE experiments will be deferred to a future 
spacewalk. The experiments were deployed in August 2006 and will be 
returned to Earth for analysis.

Mastracchio and Anderson have completed most of the scheduled spacewalk 
activities. They continued preparations for the relocation of the Port 6 
(P6) truss and its solar arrays by moving two Crew Equipment Translation 
Aid carts along the Integrated Truss Structure rail system. This will 
allow the station’s arm to perform the P6 relocation work during 
STS-120. The P6 will be moved from atop the station to the end of the 
Port 5 truss.

Early 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 a new transponder and signal processor in an 
S-band communications system upgrade.

Today’s spacewalk was Mastracchio’s 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 station’s robotic arm.

*Mission Management Team Update*

Mission managers have determined that damage to a small section of 
Endeavour’s 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 Endeavour’s 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 
Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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