Nasa daily picture for February 06: December 2006: Constructing the Space Station

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Robert Curmbeam on STS-116's first spacewalk

NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam works on the International Space Station's S1 truss during the space shuttle Discovery's STS-116 mission in Dec. 2006. European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang (out of frame) was his partner in the 6-hour, 36-minute spacewalk.

During Discovery’s mission to the station, the STS-116 crew continued construction of the orbital outpost, adding the P5 spacer truss segment during the first of four spacewalks. The next two spacewalks rewired the station’s power system, preparing it to support the station’s final configuration and the arrival of additional science modules. A fourth spacewalk was added to allow the crew to retract solar arrays that had folded improperly.

Selected by NASA in December 1994, Curbeam reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He is a veteran of three space flights: STS-85 in 1997; STS-98 in 2001; and STS-116 in 2006, and has logged more than 900 hours in space.

In 2007, President George W. Bush recognized Curbeam and fellow astronaut Joan Higginbotham, during a ceremony honoring African American History Month, Monday, Feb. 12, 2007. Curbeam and Higginbotham were crewmates on Discovery's STS-116 mission, the first shuttle mission with two African-American crew members. President Bush called STS-116 "one of the most challenging missions in NASA's history" and added, "I really appreciate the fact that they are furthering humanity's path of discovery, and I appreciate the fact that you say loud and clear, our country is unlimited in its opportunities for people from all walks of life."

During African American History Month, we're featuring profiles of African Americans whose work reflects the NASA spirit of exploration.

Read Robert Curbeam's official NASA biography.

Image Credit: NASA



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