Unprecedented Spacewalk Successfully Completed

8-3-05 - Stephen Robinson is back aboard shuttle Discovery.

Robinson has wrapped up a spacewalk that included an emergency mission to pull out filler material on the shuttle's belly.

NASA officials feared the fillers could overheat, possibly creating a repeat of the Columbia disaster.

Robinson says the fillers "came out very easily." The job was expected to take about an hour, but it took mere seconds to remove the strips.

Once the repairs were completed, his spacewalking partner told Robinson, "we trained for four years, you're going to spend the next four years signing autographs."

It was the first time an astronaut had to go beneath a shuttle to do repair work.

Robinson had a camera attached to his helmet, allowing him to take unprecedented photos. He told NASA officials they were going to be glad he had a camera because "it is so beautiful to see the orbiter against the Earth at these angles."

NASA now is trying to decide whether another spacewalk will be needed to repair damage on the space shuttle Discovery. A thermal blanket near Discovery's side window was ripped during liftoff and might pose a danger upon re-entry.


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