Spacewalk today for Discovery astronauts

Spacewalking day for Discovery astronautsToday marks the first of a series of spacewalks on this, the last flight for space shuttle Discovery after 39 missions spread over 26 years.

On today’s spacewalk, astronauts Stephen Bowen and Drew will move a broken ammonia pump to a better storage area on the outside of the International Space Station and install an extension power cable.

The cable extension is needed to enable the installation of an Italian-built chamber full of supplies that will be mounted permanently on the orbiting lab. The chamber will serve as an extra closet.

Astronaut Bowen was just recently added to the mission. He joined the crew last month, replacing lead spacewalker Timothy Kopra, who was hurt in a bicycle crash.

The shuttle will be retired when it returns to Earth and sent to the Smithsonian. Two launches remain until the end of the space shuttle program, Endeavour scheduled for April and Atlantas in June.

NASA photo