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    Crew untangles cable on space shuttle boom


    by ODN

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    A spacewalking astronaut has freed a snagged cable on the inspection boom for the shuttle Atlantis, accomplishing the job in a matter of minutes.

    Stephen Bowen tackled the cable work as soon as he floated outside on the second spacewalk of Atlantis' space station visit, in an extra chore added just the day before.

    The tangled cable had prevented the shuttle astronauts from thoroughly inspecting their ship for any possible damage from last week's launch.

    Bowen's crewmates, working inside, moved the end of the 100-foot inspection boom within easy reach of Bowen.

    Flight controllers say they have no reason to believe Atlantis was damaged during lift-off by any flyaway foam insulation, but in any event, the astronauts will check the shuttle's wings and nose cap following next week's undocking for any signs of micrometeorite damage that may have occurred in orbit.

    With that completed, Bowen and his spacewalking partner, Michael Good, turned their attention to space station battery work.

    Bowen and Good needed to replace three old batteries on the far left side of the International Space Station. Each one is about three feet square and weighs 170 kilograms.

    This is Atlantis' final flight as the shuttle program winds down, only two missions remain later this year.