Mission Specialist Joseph Acaba and crewmate Steve Swanson installed a truss to support the solar array that powers the orbiting space station. They astronauts also installed a second Global Positioning Satellite antenna on the Japanese Kibo laboratory that will be used of a rendezvous with a Japanese cargo ship in September. Acaba also helped photograph areas of radiator panels extended from the Port 1 and Starboard 1 trusses and reconfigure connectors at a patch panel on the Zenith 1 truss that power Control Moment Gyroscopes. Last, Acaba and Swanson fixed a faulty pin that kept an unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system from fully deploying. The spacewalk was the mission's second and lasted about six-and-a-half hours. It ended at approximately 4:21 p.m. Pacific time. Dominican Republic RPCV Joe Acaba is a Mission Specialist Educator Astronaut with NASA.
"It’s really great meeting all these people and I don’t think most people -- I know I didn’t -- realize the amount of work that goes into each and every mission that we have. It’s just a huge base of people that support us and we’re very fortunate that we get to hop in the shuttle and go for a ride and come back. But we really appreciate and we know how much people are working -- whether it be our flight control team, going out and talking to sub-contractors, going out to the Cape and talking to the people out there -- and what really strikes me is just their enthusiasm. Everyone you talk to, no matter what part they have with the space program, they’re excited and they love what they do and they know how important it is. We know that every day they’re working hard so that we’ll be successful and it’s just, it’s great to go out there and meet them and hear their stories and share our stories with them. "
Acaba said he credits his Peace Corps experience with helping to lay the groundwork for this newest career endeavor. “I learned a lot of great skills [as a Peace Corps volunteer], and I’m sure it helped in the selection process, being able to live in that type of environment,” said Acaba. Acaba, who grew up in Anaheim, Calif., left a career as a hydrogeologist to join the Peace Corps, where he served as an environmental educator.
“The Peace Corps was my first job as a teacher,” he said. “Once I did that, I really knew I wanted to teach.”