Atlantis Crew Wakes to Rolling Stones, Conducts Second Spacewalk
The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis is conducting the second of three planned spacewalks today, this time to replace three of six batteries on a solar array powering the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA announced spacewalkers Steve Bowen and Michael Good of the
space shuttle Atlantis installed the first of three new batteries,
battery A on the B side of one of the four solar arrays on the
International Space Station (ISS). The spacewalkers completed the
installation at two hours and 27 minutes into today's spacewalk, the
second for mission STS-132 overall. This mission, Atlantis' last,
included the successful delivery of the Russian Mini-Research Module-1,
also known as Rassvet (Russian for "dawn"), to its permanent home on
the Russian segment of the ISS.
The second spacewalk is expected to last six and a half hours. The two astronauts are replacing three batteries on the station port solar array. Each of the batteries weighs more than 360 pounds and NASA noted the task requires an intricate choreography between the spacewalkers to swap out safely. Each battery has 8 kilowatt-hours of energy, enough to run a 100-watt bulb or LCD television for 80 hours. NASA said the space station has 24 of these batteries for a combined total of 192 kilowatt-hours of energy, enough to run the average U.S. home for about six days.
NASA also reported Bowen had an extra, unexpected task: He was able to successfully adjust a cable on the end of the orbiter boom, after discovering early in the flight that the cable was inhibiting a camera from maneuvering correctly. Bowen adjusted the cable and used a plastic tie to hold it in position, the space agency reported.
On the first spacewalk, the crew completed a boom assembly for the Ku-band antenna and spares for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm extension. A radiator, airlock and European robotic arm for the Russian Multi-purpose Laboratory Module also are payloads on the flight, the space agency reported.
Atlantis' storied history includes several notable events, including being the first orbiter launched into space; Atlantis was also the first shuttle to dock to the Russian Space Station Mir, and the shuttle behind seven of the 11 shuttle missions to Mir. Besides the visits to Mir, Atlantis carried the Magellan Spacecraft into orbit, sending it on its way to Venus, where it mapped 98 percent of the planet from orbit. The same year-1989-it also deployed the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter, where it collected data on the planet and its moons for eight years.
Following up on yesterday's note from NASA concerning the crew's wake-up call (The Village People's "Macho Man") the space agency's Tweeted that the Atlantis' crew woke this morning to "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones, played for Mission Specialist Piers Sellers.