Foreman and Satcher Performing First STS-129 Spacewalk

At 9:24 a.m. EST, STS-129 spacewalkers Mike Foreman and Robert L. Satcher, Jr. switched their suits to battery power, signifying the start of today’s 6.5-hour excursion. Atlantis Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik will be inside the International Space Station, choreographing the activities and coordinating communications between the spacewalkers and Mission Control in Houston.

This is the 228th spacewalk conducted by U.S. astronauts, the 134th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the fourth for Foreman and the first for Satcher. Foreman is the lead spacewalker and wears a suit with solid red stripes. His helmet cam displays number 16. Satcher is wearing an all-white spacesuit and his helmet cam displays number 18.

Once they get outside, Foreman and Satcher will install a spare S-band antenna structural assembly to the Z1 segment of the station’s truss, or backbone. To get there, Satcher will ride the station’s robotic arm, driven by Atlantis crew mates Charles Hobaugh, Leland Melvin and Barry Wilmore.

Foreman and Satcher also will install a set of cables for a future space-to-ground antenna on the Destiny laboratory. They will replace a handrail on the Unity node with a new bracket used to route an ammonia cable that will be needed for the Tranquility node when it is delivered next year. The two spacewalkers also will reposition a cable connector on Unity, troubleshoot S0 truss cable connections, and lubricate latching snares on the Kibo robotic arm and the station’s mobile base system.

While the spacewalk is underway, station Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams will work inside the station to prepare for the arrival of Tranquility, rewiring data, power and cooling lines and air flow connections at the port hatch of Harmony, where Tranquility will connect.

Meanwhile, Nicole Stott is celebrating her 47th birthday in space.