November 23, 2008

Astronauts Complete 3rd Space Walk

Two astronauts spent seven hours Saturday working high above Earth on the International Space Station, lubricating a joint that moves the solar array.

John Ray, the lead spacewalk officer for the mission, told reporters in Houston that the astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavour mission wanted to stay out longer and finish their work on the starboard side of the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, CNN reported. But controllers in Houston told them to knock off for the day after seven hours.

We stayed at a very steady, even pace and got everything done we'd planned, Ray said at a news conference at the Johnson Space Center.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen must still clean and lubricate the port side of the huge joint, which keeps the solar array pointed at the sun. They also replaced some trundle bearing assemblies Saturday.

The Endeavour mission brought a cargo aimed at upgrading the International Space Station's interior. They included a second toilet.