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Astronauts finish repair work at ISS, asked to stay back for Thanksgiving Day

STS-126 mission specialist Steve Bowen works outside the International Space Station during the mission's fourth spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

NEW YORK (BNS): Space astronauts Steve Bowen and Shane Kimbrough successfully completed the fourth and final spacewalk of the STS-126 mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

After completing the walk on Monday at 7:31 pm, the Space Shuttle Programme Mission Management Team extended the mission by a day to enable the crews of ISS and space shuttle Endeavour to spend the Thanksgiving Day together.

According to NASA, Shuttle Endeavour will undock on Friday. Landing is scheduled to take place at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at about 1:18 pm on Sunday.

During the space walk that lasted six hours and seven minutes, astronauts installed the final starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) trundle bearing assembly, mounted a video camera on the Port 1 truss, installed a Global Position Satellite antenna on the Japanese Kibo laboratory and lubricated the port SARJ race ring, NASA said.

The agency said inside the station, the other shuttle and station crew members completed maintenance on the Water Recovery System's Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) and started another processing cycle. Engineers were hopeful that the maintenance performed would enable the UPA to run for its full four-hour processing time.

Ahead of the upcoming holiday season, from orbit 220 miles above the Earth, Station and Shuttle crew members sent greetings to soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines around the world who were away from their families this holiday season. In turn, the crew thanked the service members for their commitment and dedication and wished them well.

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