Christer Fuglesang's space diary #3

Astronaut Christer Fuglesang replaces a faulty TV camera on the exterior of the International Space Station
14 December 2006

Soon it is time close ourselves in the airlock again to prepare for the second EVA on flight day 6. It is incredibly good fun and unbelievably busy – it is a pity I do not have time to give all the details. Yesterday’s spacewalk was amazingly cool!

To float along the outside of the Station, to watch the Earth down below glide past, to see the curved horizon with a thin, blue layer of atmosphere bordering on black space... I need much more time to describe all that is great and all the wonderful emotions that I felt.

Sometimes it was difficult, for example to fit in the foot-supports out on the corners where my handle did not really fit so well, and to find the right way when darkness fell during a night pass. It was annoying when the extension to the pistol grip tool got loose and disappeared into the darkness, but apart from that I was really pleased with the first spacewalk. I had the experience of my life!

Fuglesang and Curbeam during first EVA
Fuglesang and Curbeam during the first spacewalk

Today we managed to partially retract the solar panels. We succeeded to bring it far enough that the new panels on P4 can rotate and we can continue our main mission. NASA is deciding what will happen with the panels now. This activity took much longer than planned and because I was in the group (Suni, Roman, Joanie, Mike L-A and I) working with this, I have not had much time for anything else.

Last night after the spacewalk we had a 'party' in the Service Module – all ten of us. International food from the US, Germany, England and of course Sweden. It was the first time I showed the Swedish food I had brought with me. I treated the others to elk sausage and Swedish toffee – much appreciated.

I managed to call home and speak to Lisa for 10 minutes recently. That was also great.

Christer

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