Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and his American crewmate Stephen Robinson completed a successful seven hour spacewalk today on EVA 2 – repairing one of the four International Space Station (ISS) gyroscopes.
The size of a domestic washing machine, the two spacewalkers managed to move the 660lb gyroscope into place, finally seeing the ISS move back to its full complement.
Noguchi rode on the robotic arm attached to the space station to collect the broken gyroscope, take it back to Discoveryâ€™s cargo bay, and ride back to the truss with a new one.
“Oh, the view is priceless,” Noguchi said as he moved toward the gyroscope. “I can see the moon.”
The manoeuvre was described by NASA as a “complete success”.
The gyroscope helps to steer the space station and keep it in its pre-determined orbit. In a slight change to their program, Noguchi and Robinson also tested an exit hatch in the cargo bay because of “difficulties” they experienced with the hatch after their spacewalk on Saturday, NASA said.
The two took pictures of each other before returning to the shuttle, which is docked at the space station.
It was the second spacewalk the pair have carried out during the mission. The two did work to a second faulty gyroscope on Saturday and with this work, all four gyroscopes should be working for the first time since 2002. Noguchi and Robinson are to stage a third space walk on Wednesday.
For images from today’s EVA 2, see here: