Spacewalkers finish work on station

By IRENE BROWN, UPI Science News  |  Oct. 14, 2002 at 10:00 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Spacewalking partners David Wolf and Piers Sellers wrapped up a third and final spacewalk on Monday to complete the latest phase of work on the International Space Station.

"It's been a pleasure being on this team," Wolf radioed to flight controllers as he settled back into the station's airlock after a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk.

The astronauts worked on a cable cutter that is part of the mobile base for the station's robot arm. They removed a stuck bolt from a system to prevent the cutters from severing a cable inadvertently.

Wolf and Sellers also finished installing clamps to prevent leaks in fittings in the station's ammonia cooling system and they removed pins from the shuttle's cargo bay used to latch the newly delivered S1 truss assembly into place for launch.

Earlier on Monday, the shuttle and station crews watched as ground controllers sent commands to unfurl one of the new radiator panels on the S1 beam. As the panel stretched out to its full 75-foot length, the shuttle crew played some music to commemorate the event: Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus."

Flight controllers had planned to unfurl the panel on Sunday but rescheduled the work for Monday due to a minor electrical glitch. The radiators, which release heat generated by the station's electronics and modules, will be fully extended and activated next year.

NASA plans one more station construction mission this year when a matching truss is installed on the station's port, or left, side.

The Atlantis crew, meanwhile, has one final day aboard the station to complete the transfer of equipment and supplies for the station crew and pack up items no longer needed on the outpost.

The shuttle is scheduled to depart the station on Wednesday and return to the Kennedy Space Center on Friday.

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