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Astronauts complete first STS-126 EVA
Posted: Wed, Nov 19, 2008, 8:43 AM ET (1343 GMT)
STS-126: EVA #1 (NASA) Two astronauts successfully completed a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Tuesday despite the loss of a tool bag part way through the EVA. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen spent six hours and 52 minutes outside the station on an EVA that started at 1:09 pm EST (1809 GMT) Tuesday. The two spent the majority of their time working on one of the station's Solar Array Rotary Joint (SARJ), used to allow the station's solar panels to track the Sun, cleaning and lubricating the joint in a bid to solve problems with it. During that work Stefanyshyn-Piper noticed that a grease gun had leaked in her tool bag; in the process of cleaning the grease residue the bag floated away. The bag does not pose a risk of hitting the station, and backup tools are available for use on the mission's remaining three spacewalks. During the EVA the two astronauts also moved an empty nitrogen tank from the station to the shuttle's cargo bay and carried out several other minor tasks outside the station. The next EVA of the mission is scheduled for Thursday, which will also be the 10th anniversary of the launch of the station's first element, the Russian Zarya module.
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