Fuglesang and Curbeam prepare for second spacewalk
At 21:12 CET (20:12 UT) this evening, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang and NASA's Robert Curbeam will start the second spacewalk of the STS-116 mission when they step outside the International Space Station. Their main task will be to start reconfiguring the Station's power supply.
Before the spacewalk begins, half of the Space Station will be powered down. Once they have exited through the hatch on the Quest airlock, Fuglesang and Curbeam will start rewiring the Station to make use of the new solar panels installed by the STS-115 crew in September.
The rewiring of the Space Station will be completed in a third spacewalk on Saturday. Once the new solar panels are fully connected, the power supply to the ISS will be boosted by up to 50 percent.
Other tasks to be completed during the six-hour spacewalk include the relocation of two CETA (Crew Equipment and Translation Aid) carts. CETA carts are used to move spacewalking astronauts and equipment along the truss and act as an EVA workstation.
The two carts are currently located on the starboard side of the truss – the Station's girder-like backbone structure. The carts need to be moved to the port side of the truss where they will be out of the way ahead of the third spacewalk.
To perform this task Christer Fuglesang will stand on a foothold at the end of the Space Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2. Robotic arm operator Joan Higginbotham will then manoeuvre Fuglesang to the required locations.
The spacewalk is due to end at 03:07 CET (02:07 UT) when Fuglesang and Curbeam return to the airlock.