Health & Science

Shuttle Mission: First Spacewalk a Success

Two astronauts from space shuttle Discovery completed a spacewalk today. NASA said the two men spent more than six hours adding equipment to the outside of the International Space Station. KUHF health science and technology reporter Carrie Feibel has more.

For astronaut Alvin Drew, it was his first time on a spacewalk.

Here he is speaking from inside his spacesuit earlier today.

In this recording, you’ll hear him talking with astronaut Nicole Stott, who stayed inside the Space Station to help coordinate everything.

Mission Specialists Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew work outside the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of STS-133. Image credit: NASA TV

“Nicole, where are we over the planet, right now?”

“Coming up over the west coast of Africa and Spain, above us.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Drew was obviously able to enjoy the views of Planet Earth, but he and fellow astronaut Steve Bowen also had a big to-do list.

First they worked on lengthening a back-up power cable for part of the space station. Then they moved an 800-pound cooling pump to a new position.

The pump broke down and was replaced last summer with a spare pump. It’s been clamped outside the space station ever since.

The two moved it into a new position, so it can return to earth on a future shuttle flight.

Scientists down here want to analyze the pump and see why it broke down. Finally, the two astronauts are extending a track that runs outside, along the spine of the space station.

The track allows a 50-foot robotic arm to move up and down the length of the space station. John Perry is with NASA.

“That will give the arm a little bit more freedom of movement it will give it an extra space in which it can work.”

The second and final spacewalk for Discovery astronauts will be on Wednesday.


Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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