Astronauts Space Shuttle "Discovery" made the first of two spacewalks this week to perform a number of wiring and maintenance of the International Space Station (ISS). Steve Bowen (Steve Bowen) and Alvin Drew (Alvin Drew) will spend more than six hours outside the orbiting platform, preparing it for the installation of a new warehouse storage. As we know the shuttle "Discovery" arrived at the ISS on Saturday. This will be the final mission of the space shuttle in space, after which it will be transferred to the museum.
Specialist Steve Bowen himself has become a small part of the story. He was called at the last minute and said that he would replace in fulfilling the mission chief astronaut Tim Kopra (Tim Kopra), injured in a bicycle accident.
This means that Bowen made several consecutive space travel, starting with the first flight on Atlantis, which was launched in May last year.
"There are a lot of things that I did not really know, and that I have to learn" - Bowen said on Sunday. "But these guys are trained together for a long time and carefully, so they know this mission so well that they can fill my gaps that I came on board. They are great to cope with all the challenges."
A key objective of the team "Discovery" in this flight is the delivery and installation of the Italian multipurpose logistics module Leonardo (Permanent Multipurpose Module) to the space station, which will increase the area of the ISS.
The module, which has been used for many years as a packaging box supply payload into orbit, return to a normal way to Earth with every shuttle mission, but after a flight "Discovery" module will remain at the station to provide additional storage warehouse.
Docking with the hub connecting module Unity will require Bowen and Drew move some cabling. During the spacewalk couple of experts will also replace the faulty pump is needed to push ammonia coolant around the platform.
Leonardo will be hoisted into place on Tuesday this week, the next "space walk" will occur on Wednesday. Space Shuttle "Discovery" is to return to Earth on Monday, March 7. Then the spacecraft will be transferred to the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institute.
Steven Lindsey (Steven Lindsey), space shuttle commander, said it was a real privilege to make the final flight in "Discovery".
Original: BBC Translation: M. Potter