Space Shuttle Discovery - Final Spacewalk Set for STS-131

    Mon, 12 Apr 2010 10:48:59 PM EDT

    The crew of space shuttle Discovery awoke at 10:21 p.m. EDT to "Galileo" by Indigo Girls for Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger.

    The third spacewalk of the STS-131 mission kicks off at 3:11 a.m. EDT, featuring Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson. Mission Control replanned the excursion and added some tasks that had not been completed when the pair struggled with a balky bolt during Sunday's installation of the Ammonia Tank Assembly (ATA) to the International Space Station's truss, or backbone. The first task for the spacewalkers will be the connection of nitrogen and ammonia fluid lines to the ATA, part of the station's cooling system. Flight Day 9 highlights are listed below.

    Crew Prepares for Final Spacewalk, Transfers Cargo

    After a morning off, Discovery astronauts got back to work moving equipment and supplies to and from the International Space Station and preparing for Tuesday’s spacewalk, the third and last planned for their mission. 

    Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson configured their tools in the Quest airlock. After a review of spacewalk procedures with other crew members, they will again spend the night in the airlock, its pressure reduced to 10.2 psi. That campout is aimed at reducing the nitrogen in their blood to avoid decompression sickness. 

    The spacewalk, replanned after difficulties bolting down an ammonia coolant tank on Sunday caused some rescheduling, is to begin at 3:11 a.m. EDT Tuesday and last 6½ hours. Activities include finishing the complicated change out of the large ammonia tank assembly, retrieving micrometeoroid shields from outside the airlock and retrieving a light-weight adapter plate assembly. 

    After their free time, Discovery astronauts joined their station counterparts in transfer of equipment and supplies, much of it moving from the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo to the station. That work was going well and was ahead of schedule.

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