The International Space Station got one day closer to the installation of 2,600 cubic feet of Italian style living space on Day 5 of STS 130
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick stepped outside the relative safety of the ISS to complete the physical installation of the new Italian built Tranquility Module. They spent the next 6 hours and 32 minutes moving the 27,000 pound module from the space shuttle cargo bay to the earth side of the ISS. The video from NASA condenses the full space walk into about 30 minutes.
The actual heavy lifting was done by the robotic Canadarm2 which was being controlled from inside the ISS by Mission Specialist Kay Hire and Terry Virts. In the video you can see the Canadarm2 moving over, being secured on the Tranquility Module and moving it seemingly effortlessly across space.
The astronauts are dwarfed by the 21 foot long and 14 foot in diameter Tranquility Module. However, assisted by the Canadarm2 they are able to maneuver it into place and secure the module. During today’s EVA2, the final connections between Tranquility and the ISS will be made.
Tranquility is a unique module that has pressurized quarters and is almost self-supporting with oxygen generation and the urine recycling system that was installed yesterday. Once the testing is complete, the urine recycling system will be moved to Tranquility. The urine system is being tested. Samples will be returned to earth for approval.
Tranquility also has a special Cupola with a new 360 degree half-dome that provides outstanding. panoramic views to the astronauts. They will use the cupola when observing earth, the heavens, and the movement of the Canadarm2 robot.
Behnken and Patrick secured the 16 remote controlled bolts. The air lock between the module and ISS passed initial inspection. They also connected the heater and data cables.
Final connection of Tranquility will be done during EVA 2.
This is the first major video of STS 130 and a must for space nuts. The video is about 28 minutes long which might tempt some people’s patience.
We’ll edit down a 3 minute version later on today. It will take almost 3 hours to download the video from NASA, do basic editing, convert to flash and upload.