June 7, 2011
On the Space Shuttle Columbia's first ever spacewalk, astronaut Takao Doi works with a 156-pound crane carried onboard for the first time this trip of Columbia. The crane's inclusion and the work with it are part of a continuing preparation effort for future work on the International Space Station (ISS). The ongoing project allows for evaluation of tools and operating methods to be applied to the construction of the Space Station. This crane device is designed to aid future spacewalkers in transporting Orbital Replacement Units (ORU), with a mass up to 600 pounds (like the simulated battery pictured here), from translating carts on the exterior of ISS to various worksites on the truss structure. Earlier Doi, an international mission specialist representing Japan, and astronaut Winston E. Scott had installed the crane in a socket along the middle port side of Columbia's cargo bay for the evaluation. The two began the crane operations, long ago manifest for this mission, after completing a contingency spacewalk to snag the free-flying Spartan 201 and berth it in the payload bay (visible in the background).