Endeavour Crew Completes Second Spacewalk
While Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael
Collins celebrated the 40th anniversary of man's first steps on the
moon at the White House July 20, astronauts at the ISS (International
Space Station) dealt with a more mundane matter: plumbing.
A Russian-built, multimillion-dollar toilet was installed at the ISS late last year in anticipation of the ISS serving a full complement of six astronauts. The space station reached its full capacity of six earlier this year with no reported toilet problems, but on July 19 -- two days after the seven-person crew of the space shuttle Endeavour docked at the ISS -- the toilet system's dose pump stopped working.
Wearing goggles, gloves and masks, Belgian Frank De Winne and American Michael Barratt begin repairing the toilet on July 19 but the overhaul wasn't completed until July 20. After testing, NASA finally gave a "go" for using the toilet.
Outside the ISS, spacewalker Dave Wolf and Endeavour Mission Specialist Tom Marshburn began the mission's second of five scheduled spacewalks at 11:27 a.m. (EDT). Over the course of the more than six-hour spacewalk, Wolf and Marshburn attached a Ku-Band space-to-ground antenna on an external stowage platform, put a pump module on an external stowage platform and bolted a linear drive unit to the external stowage platform.
Due to issues related to foot restraints and tethers, the spacewalkers ran out of time before they could install a television camera on Japan's Kibo Exposed Facility, but did attach some insulation sleeves for the ISS to shuttle power transfer system before ending the spacewalk.
On July 18, astronauts successfully unloadeded and began the installation of the Japanese Exposed Facility, a type of porch that will be used for exposed science experiments. The process involved three robotic arm systems to complete the task, with the ISS and shuttle arms moving the platform from Endeavour's payload bay to the Kibo laboratory and Kibo's robotic arm used to view the installation.
After the two complicated spacewalks in three days, the Endeavour astronauts are scheduled for a day off July 21 before tackling another spacewalk July 22.