Spacewalkers rest up for 2nd outing

By IRENE BROWN, UPI Science News   |   Oct. 11, 2002 at 6:40 PM   |   0 comments

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Rested after a grueling spacewalk, shuttle astronauts David Wolf and Piers Sellers were prepared Friday to return to the vacuum of space and resume outfitting the International Space Station's new truss assembly for service.

"It was pretty tough," Wolf said during an inflight interview on Friday. "We got plenty tired."

At one point during Thursday's spacewalk, Wolf and Sellers were counting on the space station's robot arm to transport a video camera to its designed spot on the new truss segment. A software glitch sidelined the arm, forcing Wolf to carry the equipment himself to the far end of the 45-foot long beam, being careful to avoid bumping anything along the way.

"I believe our heart rates got up to over 170 (beats per minute) with that task," said Wolf.

Problems with the arm have been resolved, NASA said Friday. The next space walk was scheduled for Saturday.

"We're ready to go again," Wolf added.

The six-member shuttle crew enjoyed a light work day Friday, spending time socializing with the three live-aboard station residents and touring the orbital complex.

"I'd seen a lot of pictures so I had an idea what it would look like," said first-time flier Sandra Magnus, "but it's not the same as being here. It's just a spectacular place that is huge."

Added Sellers, "It's a real milestone in technical achievement." For Sellers, a rookie astronaut, it was his first view outside the airlock that really took his breath away.

"It was dazzling. I was completely knocked out of my socks, which were luckily in my suit. I could see a landscape with clouds and a river and it was just huge," he said.

"For the first five minutes, I was pretty much non-functional, my little brain was overloaded. But I snuck in a few peaks at the scenery during the spacewalk. It's really cool to be working on your hobby while floating over a hurricane. It's just fantastic," Sellers said.

Sellers will have a chance to repeat the experience on Saturday when he and Wolf are scheduled to work on the station's ammonia cooling system.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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