NASA said mission specialists Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew are running about 45 minutes ahead of schedule Monday morning, and could get an early start to the first spacewalk of shuttle Discovery's final mission. The spacewalk is officially scheduled to begin at 11:18 a.m., but Bowen and Drew could step out of the International Space Station earlier than that.
The 12 people currently aboard the orbiting outpost woke up at 6:23 a.m. Monday to a rendition of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," by Davy Knowles (Manx) and Back Door Slam.
The song was dedicated especially to STS-133 Mission Specialist and Florida native Nicole Stott, a graduate from the University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. And wife of Manxman Christopher Stott!
Bowen and Drew will spend Monday afternoon moving a broken ammonia pump to a better location, installing an extension cable and completing some other chores. Bowen was assigned to the job just a month ago. The original lead spacewalker, Timothy Kopra, was injured in a bicycle accident and pulled off the flight.
Still on crutches, Kopra will help direct the spacewalk from Mission Control.