Two spacewalking astronauts took on cable and antenna jobs at the international space station Saturday in their final trek outside.
Lead spacewalker Danny Olivas and his partner Christer Fuglesang unreeled 60 feet (18 meters) of cable for a new room that will be added to the orbiting comple early net year. The pair also hooked up a couple of Global System satellite antenna in their second ecursion in three days.
The two astronauts got off to a fast start, making their way out along a girder and pulling open a shelf that will be used to store big spare parts later this year. Olivas helped install the framework on the right side of the space station two years ago.
“It’s like old times, huh, Danny?” astronaut Patrick Forrester asked from inside.
“You’re right, Pat, this is like being at home,” Olivas replied.
An identical shelf on the opposite side of the space station jammed when astronauts tried to pull it open back in March. It took a special tool and another mission to get the shelf open. Olivas and Fuglesang had the tool with them in case they ran into trouble, but the job went smoothly.
NASA loaded Saturday night’s spacewalk -- the third and final one of Discovery’s space station visit -- with all sorts of odds and ends, most of them mundane.
Besides the shelf and antenna work, the spacewalkers replaced some old electronic devices and lay two 60-foot (18-meter) sets of cable in advance of the Tranquility live-in chamber that’s supposed to be launched in February aboard shuttle Endeavour.
Fuglesang, a Swede, is the only non-American on Discovery’s seven-person crew. But the space station has one Belgian, one Canadian, two Russians and two Americans living on it. The combined crews make for a record-tying crowd of 13 in space.
Saturday night’s spacewalk was the last major job for the seven shuttle astronauts before they depart Tuesday. Their 13-day flight is scheduled to end with a landing back in Florida on Thursday.