Feeds

Atlantis 'nauts wrap boltastic first spacewalk

Antenna installed, battery bolts loosened

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Atlantis spacewalkers Steve Bowen and Garrett Reisman wrapped their first STS-132 mission spacewalk at 19:19 GMT today, having spent seven hours and 25 minutes outside the ISS.

Steve Bowen (right) and Garrett Reisman exit the ISS. Pic: NASA TVThe pair successfully installed a second space-to-ground Ku-band antenna for the orbiting outpost. NASA summarises: "They connected the antenna dish to the boom assembly they installed earlier in the spacewalk. Bowen installed a heat shield around the antenna’s electronics box.

"However, a 1 millimeter gap in the interface between the antenna and the boom resulted in the spacewalkers leaving launch locks installed that prevent the antenna dish from rotating and strapped the antenna and boom together to secure the two components."

The astronauts then turned their attention to a new spare parts platform for the robotic Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, known to its friends as Dextre. This required no less than "four bolts to secure the platform to the robot".

In further excitement for bolt enthusiasts, Bowen (pictured above on the right as he exited the ISS with his partner), had time to do the some preliminary bolt-loosening in preparation for swapping out six battery units on the station's port truss. The live commentary to the spacewalk suggested that said bolts - securing the new units to the Integrated Cargo Carrier - are removed with a counter-clockwise twist, which will doubtless please bolt traditionalists among the El Reg readership.

The two remaining mission spacewalks are dedicated to replacing these nickel-hydrogen batteries, which have a nominal six-and-a-half year life and are designed for "easy on-orbit replacement". ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.