February 2020
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STS-130: Flight Day 7

LIVE, from orbit, it's SATURDAY NIGHT SPACEWALK! The second EVAs of Endeavour's of three scheduled spacewalks is slated for tonight. On tap: installing coolant lines for the Tranquility and Cupola modules that were berthed to the Space Station Thursday morning.  NASA reports:

Second STS-130 Spacewalk Tonight

ISS022-E-062966: Space shuttle Endeavour's starboard wingImage above: Intersecting the thin line of Earth's atmosphere, space shuttle Endeavour's starboard wing is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member while Endeavour remains docked with the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

All plans are go for the second spacewalk of shuttle mission STS-130 at 9:09 p.m. EST, resuming the integration of the International Space Station’s new Tranquility module. The crew members from the station and shuttle Endeavour also have learned they’ll have an extra day on orbit together.

Spacewalkers Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick will spend the first part of the spacewalk connecting two ammonia loops, with two lines in each loop, from the Destiny module to Tranquility, hooking the new module to the station’s cooling system, and open one of those loops to initiate cooling of the module. Then they’ll install thermal covers on Tranquility’s keel pin and trunnions, to prevent condensation inside the module, outfit the nadir docking port of Tranquility for the relocation of the cupola module, and install handrails. The spacewalk is scheduled to conclude at 3:39 a.m. Sunday.

Station Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineers Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer, Pilot Terry Virts and Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire will continue outfitting Tranquility’s interior, including setting up the ventilation system and configuring racks

Early Saturday morning the crew members outfitting Tranquility were unable to install a center disk cover on the module’s outboard docking port due to interference with the cover’s attach mechanism from hardware inside the cupola; that cover protects the docking interface from debris and temperature extremes when there’s no module attached to it. The planned depressurization and grappling of the cupola at the end of the crew work day has been deferred to permit troubleshooting of that situation.

Mission managers today approved adding an extra day to the flight. That day, which will be a new Flight Day 11 beginning Wednesday afternoon, will be used to relocate two Water Recovery System racks, the Waste Hygiene Compartment and the Oxygen Generation System into Tranquility. Those relocations were on hold pending the repairs conducted earlier in the flight, and enough run time on the system to generate needed samples for return to Earth for analysis.

Endeavour’s landing now will occur Sunday night, Feb. 21.

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-130: Flight Day 5 Wrap-Up

So, these flight days are a little funny this time out (at least for those of us in US time zones) because they span calendar days. FD 5 is scheduled to end at 8:14AM EST today (Friday) - it started yesterday afternoon. Overnight, Endeavour astronauts Nicholas Patrick and Bob Behnken completed the first spacewalk of the STS-130 mission.  NASA reports:

Shuttle Crew Completes First STS-130 Spacewalk

Mission Specialist Bob Behnken
Image above: Mission Specialist Bob Behnken works outside the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of the STS-130 mission. Image credit: NASA TV

› Meet the STS-130 Crew

STS-130 crew members installed a 2,600-cubic-foot addition to the International Space Station early Friday, combining the talents of robotic arm operators and spacewalkers to connect the Italian-built Tranquility module.

Tranquility was installed at 1:20 a.m. EST Friday over the Indian Ocean west of Singapore. Mission Specialist Kay Hire and Pilot Terry Virts used the station’s Canadarm2 to pull Tranquility out of the space shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay and position it on the port side of the station’s 10-year-old Unity module. Tranquility was locked in place with 16 remotely controlled bolts.

Spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick stepped outside the Quest airlock module at 9:17 p.m. Thursday and immediately began preparing the new module for its trip from the cargo bay to the station. Mission Specialist Steve Robinson helped coordinate the 6-hour, 32-minute spacewalk, which ended at 3:49 a.m. Friday. As Behnken and Patrick waited for the robotic arm operators to carefully maneuver Tranquility into position, they relocated a temporary platform from the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or Dextre, to the station’s truss structure and installed two handles on the robot.

Once Tranquility was structurally mated to Unity, the spacewalkers connected heater and data cables that will integrate the new module with the rest of the station’s systems. They also pre-positioned insulation blankets and ammonia hoses that will be used to connect Tranquility to the station’s cooling radiators during the mission’s second spacewalk that begins Saturday night. The station’s new room with a view, the cupola, will be moved from Tranquility’s end to its Earth-facing port on Sunday.

As the spacewalk ended, Mission Control reported that all data and heater connections were working well, and that the vestibule separating Tranquility and Unity had passed its initial leak check.

STS-130 spacewalkers
Image above: Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick and Bob Behnken work outside the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of the STS-130 mission. Image credit: NASA TV

Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Status Report #9 here. Flight Day 4 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. More clips at Space Multimedia. CFNews13 has a new "inside view" launch clip. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-130: Flight Day 3 Wrap-Up

Endeavour docked with the ISS exactly on time at 12:06 EST early Wednesday morning.  NASA reports:

Endeavour Arrives at International Space Station

The STS-130 and Expedition 22 crew members
Image above: The STS-130 and Expedition 22 crew members greet each other just after hatch opening. Image credit: NASA TV

› Meet the STS-130 Crew

Space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station at 12:06 a.m. EST Wednesday, delivering the Tranquility module and its new room with a view, the cupola.

Endeavour Commander George Zamka guided the orbiter to a docking with Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 as the two spacecraft were flying 215 miles above Earth off the western coast of Portugal.

When the shuttle arrived within 600 feet of the station, Endeavour performed the nine-minute Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, or “back flip.” Zamka rotated the orbiter backwards, enabling space station Commander Jeffrey Williams and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov to take high-resolution pictures of the shuttle. The images will be analyzed by experts on the ground to assess the health of Endeavour’s heat shield.

The shuttle and station crews opened hatches at 2:16 a.m. as Endeavour and the outpost flew off the northwest coast of Australia. With the arrival of Endeavour’s six astronauts, the station’s population grows to 11 and its mass tops 1 million pounds.

Endeavour’s crew will awaken at 4:14 p.m. Wednesday’s work will focus on supply transfers, spacewalk preparations and Water Recovery System repairs. Thursday’s work will focus on installation of the new Tranquility module onto the Unity module and the mission’s first spacewalk.

Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Status Report #5 here. Flight Day 2 and Mission Control pics, as well as video from FD1 and FD2 are up at the JSC Gallery. Launch pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

Merry Christmas!

Best Christmas wishes to all our readers! Kids, track Santa's journey around the world tonight at! Now, it works with Google Earth!

Also, there's still time to send Holiday Greetings to the ISS crew. Here is their message to us.