Fuglesang set for first spacewalk
Later this evening, Swedish ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang will step out of the International Space Station to take part in a six hour spacewalk (Extra-Vehicular Activity, EVA).
Wearing American EVA spacesuits, Fuglesang and his spacewalking partner NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam will start to make their way out of the hatch on the Quest Airlock at 21:42 CET (20:42 UT).
Their main task during the EVA is to install a new section of the truss – the Station's girder-like backbone structure. The 2-tonne section of truss, known as P5, was transported to the ISS inside the Space Shuttle's cargo bay. P5 was removed from the cargo bay yesterday using the Shuttle and Station robotic arms.
Fuglesang and Curbeam will be supported from inside the ISS by Joan Higgenbotham, who will use the Station's robotic arm to manoeuvre the truss section in to place.
The first of three EVAs during Discovery's STS-116 mission is set to end at 03:52 CET, when the astronauts will re-enter the Station through the Quest Airlock.
Two days later, on Thursday 14 December at 21:12 CET, Fuglesang and Curbeam are set to take part in the second EVA of the STS-116 Shuttle mission, this time to reconfigure the Station's power supply and relocate a Crew Equipment Translation Aid cart, or CETA.
The third EVA, which will be carried out by Curbeam together with newly arrived Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, will take place on Saturday 16 December from 20:37 CET.