NASA spacewalkers completed the primary tasks towards the installation of the new international docking adapter to the Harmony module.
Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency concluded their spacewalk at 1:58 p.m. EDT. During the spacewalk, which lasted just over six-and-a-half hours, the two astronauts successfully disconnected cables and electrical connections on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 to prepare for its robotic move Sunday, March 26.
The PMA-3 provides the pressurized interface between the station modules and the International Docking Adapter, which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings.
The astronauts also lubricated the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator “extension” for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspected a radiator valve and replaced cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost.
A second spacewalk has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 30, and a third spacewalk now is targeted for Thursday, April 6.
The second spacewalk will feature Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA reconnecting cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 at its new home on top Harmony. They also will install the second of the two upgraded computer relay boxes on the station’s truss and install shields and covers on PMA-3 and the now-vacant common berthing mechanism port on Tranquility.
The plan for the final spacewalk is for Whitson and Pesquet to replace an avionics box on the starboard truss called an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier, a storage platform. The box houses electrical and command and data routing equipment for the science experiments and replacement hardware stored outside of the station. The new avionics box is scheduled to launch on the upcoming Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft mission.
Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,236 hours and 38 minutes working outside the station during 198 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.
For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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