NASA's Discovery crew completes mission's last spacewalk

Despite a snag, astronauts complete installation of ammonia tank outside space station

NASA space shuttle Discovery astronauts wrapped up their third and final spacewalk this morning after successfully attaching a new ammonia tank to the International Space Station.

During a six-hour, 24-minute spacewalk this morning, Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson also relocated a portable foot restraint and readied cables on the backbone of the station for installation of a spare Space to Ground Ku-Band antenna .

The astronauts did hit have difficulty securing a used-up ammonia tank that had been removed from the station walls in the space shuttle's cargo bay. The trouble forced a delay in the spacewalk, forcing NASA to postpone plans to "retrieve a light-weight adapter plate assembly from the Columbus laboratory."

The astronauts were able to finally secure the old ammonia tank in preparation for its return to earth aboard the shuttle, and to complete the installation of a new one outside the space station. The ammonia tank is part of the space station's cooling system

Various shuttle missions over the past year have been focusing on bringing new equipment, spare parts and supplies to the space station. NASA is trying to stock it up before its space shuttle fleet, which has been the cargo workhorse for the station, is retired. The last shuttle flight is scheduled for September, though NASA's Inspector General recently issued a report predicting that the final flight will be pushed back to some time next year.

Discovery was launched early in the early morning hours on Monday, April 5 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying about 17,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the space station.

Late last week NASA officials added a day to the now 14-day mission. The astronauts will use the extra day in space to conduct an inspection of the shuttle's heat shield.

The crew did a standard check of the heat shield the day after the shuttle was launched. However, a malfunctioning Ku-Band antenna on Discovery meant that the information could not be sent immediately down to Mission Control for analysis. The follow-up inspection will be conducted while the shuttle is docked to the space station so communication instruments on the station can send the data to Earth.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NASAspace shuttle discoveryspace

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?