Flight Day 4 of STS-120 has seen the conclusion to the opening spacewalk of what will be five EVAs during the mission. Discovery astronauts Scott Parazynski (EV1) and Doug Wheelock (EV2) completed with the six hour 14 minute spacewalk.
Friday has also seen the robotic ballet of removing the Node 2 “Harmony” module from Discovery’s payload bay, for installation on the International Space Station (ISS).
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The main objectives of EVA-1 include the SASA (S-band Antenna Support Assembly) retrieval from the Z1 truss and transfer to Shuttle cargo bay for stowage in SASA FSE (Flight Support Equipment); Node 2 preparation for unberthing from the payload bay, and PDGF (Power and Data Grapple Fixture) removal from payload bay for temp stowage on Node 2.
They will also disconnect Z1 to P6 fluid umbilical QDs (Quick Disconnects); Install P6 Aft PVR (Photovoltaic Radiator) shroud; and Install P6 SSU (Sequential Shunt Unit) shroud, plus photo ops; and monitor unberthing of Node 2.
ISS commander Peggy Whitson was tasked with looking after the spacewalkers, following their overnight campout. After the air was vented out of the Quest Airlock, Whitson gave Parazynski and Wheelock – who is making his debut EVA – the green light to get ready to egress into space.
‘Ok, time to let you go out and play,’ said Whitson. Later to be followed by ‘Sweet! You’re not going to believe this,’ as the spacewalkers opened up the hatch, to reveal Earth, 200 miles ‘below’ them.
The official start of EVA-1 was 5:02am Central Time, with Parazynski egressing first, out on to the awaiting Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS)
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Earlier, robotic preparations took place on board ISS, ahead of the use of the Space Station’s robotic arm (SSRMS), which then moved to grapple Node 2, before delivering it to a temporary spot on Node 1 ‘Unity’.
The module will eventually be moved to the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) after Discovery undocks. The official time of Node 2 joining the ISS was 10:30am Central Time.
Harmony is the first addition to the Station’s pressurized volume since the arrival of the Russian Pirs docking compartment in 2001. The installation of Harmony paves the way for the addition of the European Columbus laboratory in December 2007, and the Japanese Kibo laboratory in April next year.
‘Team is looking at it, but don’t think it’s a concern,’ noted the latest Shuttle Stand-up/Integration report. ‘Think is only a sticky breaker, but will keep a close watch on it.
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