Endeavour Crew Finishes Final Walk

Astronauts set up inspection boom for next mission
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 6:49 PM CDT
Space Shuttle Endeavour approaches the International Space Station during STS-123 rendezvous and docking operations Wednesday, March 12, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A pair of Endeavour astronauts completed the last spacewalk of their historic assembly mission tonight, the Houston Chronicle reports. Over 6 hours, Mike Forman and Bob Behnken set up an inspection boom outside the International Space Station to help future shuttles avoid disasters like the 2003 Columbia tragedy. The boom scans thermal armor for damage that shuttles may sustain in the nose and wings after launch.

They also examined a failed solar panel device before wrapping up about 11 p.m. EST. They plan to return to Earth Wednesday night, the end of a 16-day trip in which they set up a giant Canadian space robot and the first part of a Japanese laboratory. Shuttle Discovery will deliver the lab's second piece in late May, the Chronicle notes.