Work Gets Underway On Construction-Intensive STS-120
NASA reports STS-120 Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski and
Doug Wheelock wrapped up the first of five planned spacewalks
Friday afternoon. During the six-hour, 14-minute excursion, the
STS-120 and Expedition 16 crews successfully installed the Harmony
module in a temporary location on the International Space Station,
and prepared the P6 truss for its relocation.
The Italian-made Harmony module weights almost 16 tons, and when
permanently installed will add over 2,500 cubic feet of habitation
space to the ISS. It will also serve as the docking node for
Japanese and European laboratories, scheduled for delivery over the
next three shuttle missions.
The first spacewalk of STS-120 began at 0602 -- about a
half-hour ahead of schedule, reports The Associated Press, all the
better to briefly enjoy the view.
"You're not going to believe this," Parazynski told Wheelock as
he opened the hatch, as they 122 nautical miles above the Andes and
the Amazon rain forest of South America.
Mission Specialist Paolo Nespoli coordinated spacewalk
activities. Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson and Clay Anderson
and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Daniel Tani were at the controls
of the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm.
Parazynski and Wheelock removed and stowed the S-band Antenna
Structural Assembly which is being returned to Earth on Discovery.
Next, they secured a Payload and Data Grapple Fixture onto Harmony
that could not be in place during launch, removed contamination
covers and disconnected the power cables linking Harmony to
When the spacewalkers’ preparations were complete, the
station robotic arm operators removed Harmony from the payload bay
and moved it to its position on Unity. Meanwhile, the spacewalkers
prepared the P6 truss for its relocation.
The two spacewalkers returned to the station at 1216 EDT. Four
more spacewalks are scheduled for STS-120.