Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.06.13 - STS-117 MCC Status Report #10


A pair of spacewalking astronauts is getting ready for a 6˝-hour excursion this afternoon to help retract an old solar array wing and get two new ones ready to go to work.

Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester and Steven Swanson, who camped out in the Quest airlock as part of their spacewalk preparations, and their crewmates were awakened at 8:08 a.m. CDT with “Questions 67 and 68” by Chicago, played for Pilot Lee Archambault.

While Mission Specialists Danny Olivas and Suni Williams help the spacewalkers get ready, the other Atlantis astronauts will be working the early steps of retraction of the 2B solar array wing, on the starboard side of the P6 Truss. Commander Rick Sturckow, Archambault and Mission Specialist Jim Reilly will send commands and monitor the retraction for any repeat of the difficulties with folding panels and sticking guide wires that were encountered on a similar retraction last December.

When Forrester and Swanson exit Quest at 1:03 p.m. they’ll move up the P6 Truss to monitor the retraction and to assist if required. Forrester, who will be in a foot restraint on the station’s robot arm, and Swanson will have specially-prepared tools to use to help the panels of photovoltaic cells fold properly.

After 45 minutes the spacewalkers will move on to the primary job of the day, preparing the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint between the S3 and S4 Truss segments for rotation. Forrester and Swanson will remove all remaining locks and restraints that held the joint safely in place during launch so that the joint is free to rotate, enabling the new solar array wings on S4 to track the sun as ISS orbits the Earth. The spacewalk is scheduled to end at 7:33 p.m.

Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clayton Anderson are scheduled to work on the transfer of supplies, and Anderson has time in his schedule for handover briefings and familiarization with his new home in orbit.

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