NASA's Last STS-129 Spacewalk Completed

HOUSTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) — U.S. space shuttle Atlantis astronauts Randy Bresnik and Robert Satcher Jr. finished the last spacewalk of the STS-129 mission Monday in 5 hours and 42 minutes.

The spacewalk that started at 8:24 a.m. EST ended at 2:06 p.m. EST, with the spacewalkers completing, among other things, the transfer of an oxygen-filled high pressure gas tank to a spot on the outside the Quest Airlock. The tank will be used to replenish atmosphere lost when spacewalkers enter and exit the station.

Bresnik and Satcher also removed a pair of micrometeoroid and orbital debris shields from the Quest Airlock and strapped them to an external stowage platform. Then Bresnik moved an articulating foot restraint to the airlock and Satcher released a bolt on a starboard truss ammonia tank assembly in preparation for an STS-131 spacewalk that will replace the tank. The ammonia in the tanks helps keep the space station properly cooled.

The start of the spacewalk was delayed for about an hour when Satcher’s spacesuit drink bag became detached. The bag, located in the spacesuit, allows the astronauts to sip water during their activities. Satcher subsequently successfully reinserted the bite valve into the bag.

The two astronauts completed their tasks ahead of schedule and were given permission to take some extra time for picture taking before re-entering the space station.

NASA said Monday’s spacewalk was the 230th conducted by U.S. astronauts, and the 136th in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance, totaling 849 hours, 18 minutes.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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