February 14, 2010

Second STS-130 Spacewalk Complete

Endeavour astronauts Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick finished all tasks planned for the mission's second spacewalk, integrating the new Tranquility node into the International Space Station despite a slightly shortened spacewalk.

The spacewalkers connected two ammonia coolant loops, installed thermal covers around the ammonia hoses, outfitted the Earth-facing port on Tranquility for the relocation of its cupola, and installed handrails and a vent valve on the new module.

The spacewalk ended after 5 hours, 54 minutes to give Behnken and Patrick additional time in the airlock as part of a cleanup process for possible contamination. While hooking up a quick-disconnect valve, a small amount of ammonia eked out of a connector. Procedures called for a "bake-out" while Patrick worked during the sunlit portion of the orbit, and a contamination test in the airlock.

While the spacewalk was still under way, Mission Control activated one of the ammonia loops and reported that ammonia was flowing through Tranquility, cooling the module. The second cooling loop will be activated during Tuesday's spacewalk.

With choreography from astronaut Steve Robinson, the intravehicular officer, Behnken placed insulation covers on Tranquility's keel pin and trunnions. He also prepared Tranquility for the cupola relocation, opening a centerline camera flap and deploying berthing mechanism petals that initially will secure the cupola. Patrick installed a non-propulsive vent valve on Tranquility and then attached eight handrails to its exterior.

Station Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineers Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer, along with Endeavour Pilot Terry Virts and Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire, worked to outfit Tranquility's interior. Activities included setting up the ventilation system, connecting electrical and computer cables, and configuring racks. The crew confirmed that the lights were on inside Tranquility and that computer systems are working.

Endeavour now is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center at 9:16 p.m. CST next Sunday, Feb. 21, after undocking from the station at 6:54 p.m. Friday. A new flight day 11, beginning Wednesday afternoon, will support moving two Water Recovery System racks, the Waste Hygiene Compartment and the Oxygen Generation System into Tranquility. That work had been on hold for repairs and test runs.

The shuttle crew's bedtime is scheduled for 7:14 a.m., with a wakeup call at 3:14 p.m.


Image Caption: Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken work outside the International Space Station during the second spacewalk of the STS-130 mission. Image credit: NASA TV


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