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STS-121 MCC Status Report #17


4 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-121 MCC Status Report #17

Astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Discovery gathered valuable new data 
during the third spacewalk today as part of an ongoing evaluation of 
repairing a damaged orbiter.

Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and Mike Fossum began the spacewalk at 
6:20 a.m. CDT and prepared a foot restraint on the end of the 
International Space Station’s Canadarm2. Sellers rode the arm, commanded 
by Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson, to the starboard 
wing of Discovery where he used an infrared camera to shoot 20 seconds 
of video of selected reinforced carbon carbon panels on the wing’s 
leading edge. Infrared imagery may aid in identifying damage on the 
inside of those panels.

Fossum translated to the aft of Discovery’s payload bay to join Sellers 
and help prepare a box containing 12 RCC sample panels for the EVA’s 
primary task of testing a repair material known as NOAX. Non-oxide 
adhesive experimental is a pre-ceramic polymer sealant containing 
carbon-silicon carbide powder, and is being evaluated for repairing 
damage to RCC panels.

Data gathered from tests on mission STS-114 last year indicated NOAX is 
most effective when applied while the temperature of an RCC panel is 
falling between 120° F and 30° F, so today’s spacewalkers were directed 
to apply NOAX to the pre-damaged RCC panels based on the temperatures of 
the panels. Over the course of almost two and a half hours, Sellers and 
Fossum completed three gouge repairs and two crack repairs with NOAX, 
and provided Mission Control a running dialogue describing the repair 
activity and how the NOAX responded. They also imaged four of the 
samples with the infrared camera, which Fossum also used to gather video 
of an area of Discovery’s port wing while riding Canadarm2 back to the 

Near the end of the EVA, Mission Control added a task to the spacewalk. 
Since the space walkers were on schedule and had plenty of supplies, 
Sellers carried a Pistol Grip Tool to the Integrated Cargo Carrier in 
Discovery’s payload bay and removed the fixed grapple bar used during 
delivery of the Pump Module during the second spacewalk. He carried it 
to the S1 Truss where Fossum helped him install it on an ammonia tank 
inside that truss so that the tank can be moved on a later shuttle 
assembly mission.

Repressurization of Quest began at 1:31 p.m., completing a 7-hour, 
11-minute spacewalk, the 68th in support of ISS assembly and 
maintenance. The cumulative duration of the three spacewalks on this 
mission is 21 hours and 29 minutes. Sellers’ total spacewalking time of 
41:10 on six EVAs ranks him 4th among U.S. space walkers and 9th in the 
world all-time.

ISS Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Jeff 
Williams and Thomas Reiter concentrated on packing the Multipurpose 
Logistics Module today with returning experiment samples, unneeded 
hardware and trash. The Leonardo module is scheduled to be returned to 
Discovery’s payload bay on Friday.

The next STS-121 mission status report will be issued Thursday morning, 
or earlier if events warrant.

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