Flight International online news 11:00 GMT: Prior to attempting repairs on the Shuttle's heat shield, Discovery crew members have successfully completed the first major task of their third spacewalk. 

With the help of the Station's robot arm, spacewalkers Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson attached the external stowage platform-2 onto the Station's unity node at 10:40 GMT.

Before starting the Shuttle repairs, the two spacewalkers will also attach a materials exposure experiment to the Station and remove a joint rotary motor controller from the Station's truss.

Meanwhile, pilot Jim Kelly and mission specialist Wendy Lawrence will move the Station's robotic arm into position for the repairs on the underside of the Shuttle.

In order to make the repairs, Robinson will ride on the end of the Station's robotic arm to the underbelly of Discovery where he will remove two gap fillers that are protruding from areas between heat-shielding tiles. He will gently tug the protrusions until they come out. If that does not work, Robinson will have tools to cut off the protrusions.

"This is going to be a very delicate task," Robinson said during a news conference Tuesday, "but ... a simple one."

Source: Flight International