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article imageBusy day in space with ISS spacewalk and preparation for Atlantis launch

By Carpenter S. Newton     Jun 6, 2007 in Science
Two cosmonauts on the International Space Station exited their confines on Wednesday to accomplish three tasks, while work to launch space shuttle Atlantis continued to run smoothly on the ground.
Carpenter Newton reporting for Digital Journal –– Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station wrapped up a second spacewalk in as many weeks while preparation to launch space shuttle Atlantis continued to unfold at Kennedy Space Center.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT, Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov exited the ISS via the Prius docking compartment to install a section of Ethernet cable, service module debris protection (SMDP) panels and to deploy a scientific experiment called ‘Biorisk.’
Yurchikhin and Kotov installed five SMDP panels on a spacewalk last week. This time, they bolted on 12 more, in addition to the other tasks.
‘Biorisk,’ the scientific experiment, will study the effect microorganisms have on structural materials in space.
The spacewalk took 5 hours, 37 minutes. U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams stayed inside the station and served as the intravehicular officer.
No Issues for Atlantis
Back on earth, the Launch Readiness News Conference was held this afternoon concerning space shuttle Atlantis. According to the mission management team, there are currently no issues and it was unanimously agreed that Atlantis is ready to fly on Friday.
“The team is ready to go and we’re just really excited to be at this point after a very long and arduous spring and a lot of really hard work by the entire team. I’m very proud of the team,” said LeRoy Cain, launch integration manager.
Weather forecasts continue to look good for the 7:38 p.m. launch with only a 30% chance of scrub due to potential thunderstorms in the area. All thunderstorm activity is expected to clear around Kennedy by launch time thanks to a high-pressure ridge.
The countdown clock for Atlantis continues to roll on. At 8:30 p.m. last night, the launch team participated in a call to stations that set the timer moving. As of this writing, the clock stands at T-27 hours, with nearly 24 hours of built-in hold time remaining.
At 6:30 p.m. this evening, fuel cell oxygen and hydrogen will begin to load on Atlantis.
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