Astronauts Finish First STS-132 Spacewalk

HOUSTON, May 17 (UPI) — NASA Astronauts Garrett Reisman and Steve Bowen completed the first of three STS-132 spacewalks Monday in 7 hours and 12 minutes, ending at 3:19 p.m. EDT.

In what had been planned as a 6 1/2-hour spacewalk, the astronauts installed a new space-to-ground antenna and a spare parts platform for Dextre, the International Space Station’s two-armed robotic manipulator.

The space agency said the new space-to-ground antenna will increase the space station’s ability to conduct two-way data, voice and video communications. The men also prepared for the installation of six new batteries during the second and third spacewalks by loosening the bolts that hold the old batteries in place. NASA said the batteries, together, weigh approximately 2,200 pounds.

Officials said the spacewalk — which began at 7:54 a.m. EDT — was the 237th conducted by U.S. astronauts and the 144th in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance.

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