The crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station completed a busy day with a spacewalk and the installation of the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (JLP) on the station.
Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman completed the first spacewalk of the STS-123 mission at 4:19 a.m. EDT. The excursion lasted seven hours, one minute.
The two spacewalkers prepared the JLP for removal from Space Shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay. They also opened the Centerline Berthing Camera System on top of the Harmony module. The system provides live video to assist with docking spacecraft and modules together.
Additionally, the astronauts removed the Passive Common Berthing Mechanism, the round flange which can attach to another spacecraft or module, and they installed both the Orbital Replacement Unit tool change out mechanisms on the Canadian-built Dextre, the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System.
Commander Dom Gorie and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi used the shuttle’s robotic arm to move the JLP, the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory, to its place on the orbital outpost, completing the task at 4:06 a.m.
Initial attempts to route power to Dextre were not successful Thursday after its unassembled components were temporarily parked on the station's truss in a pallet structure.
Flight controllers plan to grapple Dextre with the station's robotic arm around 11 p.m. today. With Dextre grappled to the arm, the cabling path that is believed to be causing communications interference will not be in the loop. It is expected that normal communications will then be established.
Linnehan and Mission Specialist Michael Foreman will exit the orbital complex Saturday at 8:23 p.m. to perform the second STS-123 spacewalk. Their primary goal is to assemble Dextre.
Explore further: Amazing raw Cassini images from this week