At 7:45 (EDT) this morning, Canadian
Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield stepped out of the Space Shuttle
Endeavour and into Canadian history. Hadfield became the first Canadian
astronaut ever to perform a spacewalk when he and his co-spacewalker, Scott
Parazynski, exited the Shuttle to deploy Canadarm2, the next-generation
robotic arm that will assemble the International Space Station.

“For the first time a Canadian has walked out into space with nothing but a
space suit between himself and the universe,” said the Honourable Brian
Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space
Agency. “Canadarm2 will play a critical role in the building of the
International Space Station. Canada’s astronauts and engineers are highly
skilled and highly motivated-they are playing a vital role in the completion
of this orbiting laboratory.”

Hadfield, riding on the end of the Shuttle’s Canadarm, and Parazynski
removed the eight one-metre-long superbolts that fastened Canadarm2 to its
packing crate. The astronauts then unfolded the arm and secured it at its
hinges by tightening eight bolts called Expandable Diameter Fasteners. The
two spacewalkers experienced some difficulties ensuring an appropriate
torque level had been placed on the bolts. However, by taking the pistol
grip tool from automatic to manual mode, they were able to securely tighten
the bolts in place.

“This is a spectacular view,” said Hadfield as he exited the hatch and
floated into space. At the end of the spacewalk, as the Shuttle flew over
Atlantic Canada and Hadfield and Parazynski prepared to enter the hatch,
ground support crew led by CSA Astronaut Steve Maclean, played a rendition
of Canada’s national anthem from a hockey game at the Montreal Forum. The
anthem was played as a tribute to the many Canadians that have worked on
this mission. “It opens the door to what all of us can be doing here
internationally, beginning to explore space as a planet,” said Hadfield from
outside the Shuttle. The spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 10 minutes.

Canadarm2 was then brought to life from inside the Station and put through a
series of tests to ensure all its systems were functioning properly.
According to Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency, the arm
performed as flawlessly as its predecessor, the Shuttle’s Canadarm: “The
deployment of Canadarm2 is the culmination of years of hard work on the
ground in Canada. The Canadian Space Agency is proud of this outstanding
workmanship in Canadian robotics innovation.”

Tomorrow, Canadarm2 will reach out and grasp the Destiny Space Lab attaching
itself to the International Space Station (scheduled for 11:51 am EDT). The
next-generation robotic arm was built under the guidance of MDRobotics in
Brampton, Ontario. Canadian Companies from all regions of the nation
participated in building Canadarm2.

Media Program for 23 April 2001 (Flight Day 5)

  • 6:26am EDT (TBC): Canadarm2 steps off its pallet
  • 11:11 am EDT (TBC) : Installation of the Italian Multi-Purpose
    Logistics Module (MPLM) by Canadarm

  • 11:51 am EDT (TBC): Canadarm2 grapples Destiny lab
  • 1:06 pm EDT (TBC): US downlink (Canadian media are invited to view the
    conference at the CSA and at JSC, but may not ask questions)

  • 1:30 pm EDT (TBC): NASA Status Briefing on the activation of Canadarm2.
    CSA’s Benoit Marcotte, Director, Operations Engineering, will participate in
    the briefing. Media are invited to attend both at JSC and at the CSA, and
    may ask questions in both locations

    CSA spokespersons will be available for interviews at the Johnson Space
    Center in Houston, Texas, and at the CSA’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert,
    Quebec.

    For live coverage, media can log on to the NASA TV satellite on GE-2,
    Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a
    frequency of 3880 Mhz and audio of 6.8 Mhz. In cooperation with
    Sympatico-Lycos, the CSA also brings you mission highlights live from NASA
    TV at: www.space.sympatico.ca.

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    For more information, contact:

    Media Relations Office

    Canadian Space Agency

    Tel.: (450) 926-4345 or 4370

    Fax: (450) 926-4352

    Mission STS-100 Website: www.space.gc.ca/sts100-mission