NASA Astronauts Mike Foreman & Robert Satcher Jr. Complete First Spacewalk of STS-129 Mission

HOUSTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) — Space shuttle astronauts Mike Foreman and Robert Satcher Jr. whizzed through their first spacewalk of the STS-129 mission Thursday in 6 hours, 37 minutes.

The spacewalk started at 9:24 a.m. and ended at 4:01 p.m. EST. Not only did Foreman and Satcher complete all the tasks scheduled for the initial spacewalk with two hours to spare, they also completed a “get ahead” project that had been planned for the second spacewalk.

NASA said it was the 228th spacewalk conducted by U.S. astronauts and the 134th in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance. It was Foreman’s fourth spacewalk and the first for Satcher.

Among Thursday’s spacewalk accomplishments, the astronauts installed a spare S-band antenna structural assembly to the space station, put up a set of cables for a future space-to-ground antenna on the Destiny laboratory and replaced a handrail on the Unity node with a new bracket used to route an ammonia cable that will be needed for the Tranquility node when it is delivered next year.

The two spacewalkers also repositioned a cable connector on Unity, resolved a problem with a truss cable connection and lubricated latching snares on the Kibo robotic arm.

During the space walk, ISS Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams worked inside the station to prepare for the arrival of Tranquility, rewiring data, power and cooling lines and air flow connections at the port hatch of Harmony, where Tranquility will connect.

And, NASA noted, astronaut Nicole Stott celebrated her 47th birthday in space.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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