CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A partial power outage at the
International Space Station briefly interrupted Monday's spacewalk,
knocking out robotic camera views of the two astronauts as they
worked to install a spare antenna.
The outage happened two hours into the spacewalk by Atlantis
crewmen Garrett Reisman and Stephen Bowen. The space station's main
command-and-control computer suddenly crashed. A backup computer
kicked in, but power temporarily was lost to some equipment,
including the video monitors being used by the robot arm operator,
Reisman was perched on the end of the space station's 58-foot
robot arm when Sellers lost his camera views. Bowen was working
with connectors on the space station's framework. Both were told to
stop what they were doing.
NASA said neither spacewalker was ever in any danger. In less
than a half-hour, everything was back to normal, although the
backup computer remained in charge.
"Ah, much better," Sellers said when his camera views came
Two hours later, both the 6-foot dish antenna and its 14-foot
boom were anchored to the space station. Bowen proudly shook the
boom. "It doesn't wobble anywhere," he reported.
The astronauts next turned their attention to a storage platform
that they needed to hook up for the station's Canadian-built robot,
named Dextre, short for dexterous. Also on their to-do list:
loosening the bolts on six batteries that will be replaced on the
next two spacewalks.
Reisman spent the entire spacewalk on the end of the robot arm.
He enjoyed the ride.
"I'm way the heck up here now," Reisman called out from his
perch. "I might only be about 5-foot-4, but right now, I think I'm
the highest person around. Woooo!"
"Yeah, like you're two-thirds of the way up of being like a
Hubble guy," replied astronaut Michael Good from inside the space
station. Good worked on the Hubble Space Telescope last May in a
considerably higher orbit.
Shuttle Atlantis and its crew of six delivered the antenna and
other spare parts to the space station Sunday. NASA wants to
stockpile as much equipment at the orbiting complex as possible
before the shuttle program ends.
Only two more shuttle missions remain. For Atlantis, though,
this is it.
NASA may add an extra chore to the second or third spacewalk
coming up this week. A cable is snagged at the end of the shuttle's
inspection boom. Mission managers said it should be a quick and
easy job to free it. The problem prevented the shuttle crew from
properly checking Atlantis over the weekend for launch damage.
Mission Control will have the astronauts use the shuttle robot
arm Tuesday to check the sections of the left wing and other areas
that were missed in Saturday's survey.
NASA has mandated safety surveys for orbiting shuttles ever
since the 2003 Columbia disaster. A hole in the wing, carved out by
a slab of fuel-tank foam insulation at liftoff, led to Columbia's
demise during re-entry.
On Tuesday, the astronauts will take on another major objective,
attaching a new Russian compartment to the space station.