There have been some outstanding images coming in from the current space shuttle mission at the International Space Station. The crews of Endeavour and the ISS continue their near-frantic pace of spacewalks and outfitting of the station during the STS-123 mission. During the 3rd spacewalk, astronauts Rick Linnehan (right) and Bob Behnken work on the new Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM). This image highlights how big the station is getting, as the astronauts are almost dwarfed by this one area of the truss section.
Bob Behnken continues his work on Dextre during his EVA. During the 6-hour, 53-minute spacewalk, Linnehan and Behnken installed a spare-parts platform and tool-handling assembly for Dextre. They also checked out and calibrated Dextre’s end effector and attached critical spare parts to an external stowage platform. The new robotic system is scheduled to be activated on a power and data grapple fixture located on the Destiny laboratory today.
All the astronauts have had to juggle lots of different activities during the current mission. Here, Dominic Gorie, STS-123 commander, reaches for a procedures checklist floating freely on the aft flight deck of Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Can you imagine looking out a window and seeing one of your best friends floating by? Visible through a window on Endeavour’s aft flight deck is astronaut Rick Linnehan during spacewalk #3 for the mission.
For Wednesday, the astronauts are scheduled to take a half-day off to rest up for two more spacewalks. They also are continuing their work to outfit the Japanese module that was attched to the Harmony node earlier in the mission. They’ll do a round of media interviews this evening, and get ready for another spacewalk on Thursday.
Link here for more STS-123 images.