It is flight day eight of twelve for the STS132 crew of the space shuttle Atlantis on their visit to the International Space Station. Today saw the third and final of the mission’s (and, if things continue as planned, Atlantis’) spacewalks. The aim of the extra vehicular activity (EVA) was for Astronauts Garrett Reisman and Michael Good to install the final two of six batteries. The first four were installed during the last spacewalk.
The day began for the astronauts with “Traveling Light,” by JJ Cale, played for Mission Specialist Piers Sellers at 6:50 BST. Good and Reisman began the spacewalk at 11:27 BST, the official start time coordinated with their switching of spacesuit power from the shuttle to their own batteries. By 13:13, they had installed the first of the two remaining batteries. They then worked on the second and brought the old batteries back to the shuttle to be stowed for transport back to Earth. The spacewalk ended after 6 hours and 46 minutes at 18:13 BST, totalling 21 hours and 20 minutes of EVA for STS132. The International Space Station is now 98% complete by habitable volume, 94% complete by pressurized volume & 93% complete by mass.
NASA TV also cast its lenses back to the time of the launch of Atlantis and the ‘tweeps’ who were there to watch it happen. See some reaction below:
…and another view of the launch can be seen from the cameras mounted on the twin booster rockets:
There is a joint Station-Shuttle news conference arranged for 5:25 a.m. CDT on Sunday, May 23. If you are a reporter, instructions of how to join in and further information on the news conference are here.
Following publication of Thierry Legault’s image of the station and shuttle in front of the Sun’s disc, he has now published video showing how fast the two zipped across the solar face, scroll down that web-page for the videos. Meanwhile over on Universe Today, a picture gallery for STS132 is rapidly expanding with great pics from in space and on the ground. If you want to see the station in your own skies (and the orbit happens to be right) then check Heavens Above for pass times. NASA provides quick snippets on mission progress on their twitter feed.