In Happier News... The UPA Works! (NASA Thinks)
NASA reports astronauts Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold ended
the STS-119 mission's third spacewalk at 6:04 pm Eastern Time
The pair helped robotic arm operators relocate the Crew
Equipment Translation Aid cart from the Port 1 to Starboard 1 truss
segment -- freeing up room for the STS-127 crew to work, when
Endeavour delivers them to the station in a few months -- and
completed other minor tasks, some ahead of schedule.
The day was not without its frustrations, however. Chief among
those woes were continued problems with the Port 3 unpressurized
cargo carrier attachment system (UCCAS) outside the Kibo module.
As ANN reported this weekend, an improperly
installed pin is believed to have jammed the UCCAS deployment in a
half-open, half-closed state. Further work on the problem during
Monday's excursion failed to remedy the situation.
After struggling with the balky pin, the spacewalkers once again
tied off the half-deployed UCCAS, in hopes the problem will be
solved during a later spacewalk. A similar device that was to be
installed on the starboard side of Kibo will remain stowed as well,
until NASA has a better understanding of the problem on the port
In happier news for NASA, crews were able to conduct a
successful run using the Urine Processor Assembly,
after problems were encountered during an earlier "wet"
test. This time around, the UPA collected 15 pounds of
reclaimed drinking water. Samples will be returned aboard Discovery
for analysis before crew members will be given the 'go' to drink
the water aboard the station.
Outside the station, Acaba and Arnold successfully lubricated
the 'gripper' assembly at the end of Canadarm2. The robotic arm is
mounted to the station's exterior, and helps lift and maneuver
cargo and new station segments from shuttle cargo bays.
Monday's spacewalk lasted six hours, 27 minutes, and was the
final one scheduled for mission STS-119. The duration of the
mission was shortened after the shuttle Discovery's launch was
delayed a month by problems with the launch vehicle's hydrogen fuel
Discovery is scheduled to undock from the ISS Wednesday, and
will return to Earth on March 27. Crewmembers for the Expedition 19
mission -- who will help comprise the first six-person crew onboard
the station -- will blast off from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a
Soyuz TMA-14 capsule early Thursday morning.