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Shuttle Crew Prepares For Second Spacewalk

April 10, 2010

Moving equipment and supplies brought to the International Space Station by Discovery, preparation for the mission’s second spacewalk on Sunday and chats with media representatives and students filled much of the crews’ day.

The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo, mounted on the station’s Harmony node, was the source of much of the material moved. Major items launched in the module included 16 racks ““ among them four experiment racks.

Before the crews’ bedtime, they plan to move the final two experiment racks, the Express Rack 7 (ER7) and the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF), into the station. ER7 can host a variety of experiments, while WORF will focus on Earth through the Destiny laboratory’s optical quality window.

Under direction of loadmaster and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, the two other experiment racks had been moved the previous day.

Spacewalkers Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson configured tools for their Sunday spacewalk set to begin shortly after 1 a.m. Crew members gathered for a spacewalk procedures review. Mastracchio and Anderson will do the standard campout in the Quest airlock, spending the night at a lower air pressure of 10.2 psi to reduce the nitrogen content of their blood. That is a measure to avoid decompression sickness.

All three spacewalks focus largely on replacement of a depleted ammonia coolant tank with a full one brought up by Discovery.

Mastracchio and Anderson joined fellow Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson to talk with Nebraska Public Radio, CBS Newspath and Radio Network and KETV-TV in Omaha. Later, Discovery Commander Alan G. Poindexter, Pilot James P. Dutton Jr. and Mission Specialist Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger talked with students hosted by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

The 13-member crews of Expedition 23 and Discovery are scheduled to begin an eight hour sleep period at about noon and be awakened at 8:21 p.m.

Image Caption: Four members of the STS-131 mission pose for a photo in the Kibo laboratory. Mission Specialist Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger is at the nine o’clock position in the foursome’s pose. Clockwise from her are Commander Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki. Image credit: NASA

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