Crews Busy with Robotics and Hardware Relocation

Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 is relocated from the Harmony module to the open port on the end of the Tranquility node.

With a port swap of the International Space Station’s new cupola and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 completed today, astronauts continued outfitting the new Tranquility module and its observation deck and prepared for a third spacewalk.

The pressurized mating adapter was moved early in the crew’s day from its temporary position atop the Harmony node to the outboard end of Tranquility, where the cupola had been launched. Mission Specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick operated the station’s Canadarm2 for the move, while station Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi dealt with latches and bolts, connecting the port to its new home at 9:28 p.m. EST.

Patrick and Behnken will hook up heater and data cables between the relocated adapter and Tranquility during the spacewalk that begins Tuesday evening. Today, the spacewalkers reviewed plans for the final planned spacewalk with Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson, the intravehicular officer, along with space shuttle Endeavour Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and station Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer.

The 6.5-hour spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 9:09 p.m. The spacewalkers will open the second of two ammonia loops to allow its coolant to flow through Tranquility and disconnect temporary power cables. They will remove insulation from the cupola’s seven windows and then release bolts that held the covers in place during launch, enabling astronauts to open the shutters from inside.