HOUSTON, July 8 (UPI) -- Astronauts Piers Sellers and Mike Fossum conducted a spacewalk Saturday to determine whether a boom could be used to make repairs to the spacecraft.
Stepping out of the International Space Station at 9:17 a.m. EDT, the shuttle astronauts first immobilized a cable cutter so it wouldn't accidentally cut a data cable, NASA reported. They then tested a 50-foot robotic boom, with the astronauts hooked by a foot restraint to its end, to see if they could use it for inspecting or making repairs to hard-to-reach places on the shuttle's underside.
"Have fun today bouncing on the boom (sounds like a new country song)," flight controllers in Houston wrote in an electronic message to the astronauts before the walk.
The 6 1/2-hour outing was the first spacewalk for Fossum and the fourth for Sellers.
The astronauts may use the boom for an actual repair on their third spacewalk, set for Wednesday.