The crewmembers spent this week reviewing the timeline and procedures, organizing tools, and preparing the spacesuits and the Quest airlock for the 61/2-hour spacewalk. During the outing, Bowersox and Pettit will release launch restraints to permit deployment of a cooling radiator on the Port 1 truss segment and clean the attach point on the Unity Node for station cargo modules. They also will install a work light and a foot restraint on an astronaut handcar for future spacewalking construction workers to use. Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin will provide support for Bowersox and Pettit from inside the station. NASA television spacewalk coverage starts at 5 a.m. CST Wednesday.
Bowersox provided data to scientists for the FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Spaceflight) experiment, which looks at how the arms, hips, knees, legs and feet move in the absence of gravity, and at what changes occur in bones and muscles during spaceflight. Bowersox wore a special pair of cycling pants with 20 sensors on his legs and additional sensors on his arms that took electrical impulse measurements throughout his workday Tuesday.
All three crewmembers participated in a monthly lung-function test, to study the effects of weightlessness. The crewmembers forcefully exhaled into a device which stored lung capacity measurements in an onboard medical computer. The session served as the pre-spacewalk reading for Bowersox and Pettit, while the experiment also studies how wearing low-pressure spacesuits affects lung performance. They will participate in another session after the spacewalk.
Thursday, Bowersox and Pettit operated the space station robotic arm, Canadarm2, to do camera surveys of exterior hardware in the station's expanding thermal control system. They maneuvered Canadarm2 into positions to inspect the location of thermal blankets on cooling lines and the S1 and S0 trusses and also survey the condition of the radiator on the P6 truss. Engineers on the ground will review the footage for any irregularities.