Feeds

Endeavour 'nauts wrap last ever shuttle crew spacewalk

End of an era at the ISS

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Mission specialists Greg Chamitoff and Mike Fincke earlier today wrapped the fourth and final spacewalk of Endeavour's STS-134 mission to the ISS – the last ever EVA by space shuttle crew members.

Greg Chamitoff and Mike Fincke outside the ISS during today's spacewalk. Pic: NASAThe pair ventured outside the orbiting outpost for seven hours and 24 minutes, during which they stowed Endeavour's 50-ft inspection boom at its new home outside the station.

Once they'd added a "power and data grapple fixture" to the boom, it officially became the "Enhanced International Space Station Boom Assembly, available to extend the reach of the space station's robotic arm".

Just shy of five hours into the EVA, Chamitoff and Fincke "surpassed the 1,000th hour astronauts and cosmonauts have spent spacewalking in support of space station assembly and maintenance".

NASA station flight director Derek Hassman said recently: "In the early shuttle program, a flight with one or two EVAs was considered a pretty challenging mission. With the station missions that we fly today, with three and four EVAs the norm, the difference and the upgrade in the capability is just tremendous."

Chamitoff has clocked up two spacewalks, for a total of 13 hours, 43 minutes. Finke is now a nine-EVA veteran, having spent 48 hours and 37 minutes outside the airlock, putting him "sixth on the all-time list".

NASA adds: "This evening, [Finke] will become the US astronaut who has spent the most number of days in space, surpassing Peggy Whitson's record of 377 days."

Space shuttle Atlantis is pencilled to blast off to the ISS on 8 July, carrying the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module. On board for STS-135 will be commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, but none of them will be doing any spacewalking.

Once the shuttle programme wraps, Atlantis will go on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Discovery is bound for the Udvar-Hazy Center at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, while Endeavour will come to rest at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Endeavour commander Mark Kelly previously expressed his sadness at seeing the shuttles farmed out to museums, but described it as "a necessary step so we can go on and do some more exciting things". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.