September 6, 2009
Third And Final Spacewalk Complete
Discovery's astronauts have now finished all of their work outside the station for the STS-128 mission.
Mission Specialists Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang spent 7 hours and 1 minute outside the International Space Station on Saturday in the third and final spacewalk of this trip to the station, bringing the total for the mission to 20 hours and 15 minutes.
Inside the station, crewmembers replaced one of 16 common berthing mechanism bolts used to secure the Leonardo cargo carrier to the station. The bolt had not operated as expected early in the mission. The crew also opened an oxygen generation assembly water filter that was replaced before the shuttle arrived, and saw that it was 70 to 80 percent blocked. The inspection increases confidence that the filter replacement has restored the system to full functionality.
As with the mission's previous spacewalks, Olivas and Fuglesang accomplished everything they set out to do, including the set up of a payload attachment system on the station's truss to be called into service on the next mission. They also replaced a rate gyro assembly and a remote power control module, installed two GPS antennas and removed a slide wire on the Unity module.
The spacewalkers were not able to connect two avionics cables that eventually will be connected to Tranquility, the final U.S. module to be delivered to the station. Connectors on one of the cables would not mate, and so they were wrapped in insulation and left for a future spacewalk.
At the end of the spacewalk, Fuglesang's helmet-mounted video camera and headlight system became unlatched. Olivas helped Fuglesang connect a tether to the equipment and planned to inspect its latches after they got back inside.
The rest of the mission's work will take place inside the station and shuttle. More transfer work is on the slate for tomorrow, as well as some off-duty time for the crew and interviews with reporters on the ground.
Discovery's crew is scheduled to go to sleep around 2:30 a.m. and wake up at 10:29 a.m.
Image Caption: Mission Specialist Christer Fuglesang exits the International Space Station to start the third and final STS-128 spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV
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