STS-133Earth is reflected in the helmet visor of NASA astronaut Alvin Drew, STS-133 mission specialist, as he participates in the mission’s first session of extravehicular activity, as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station.

During the six-hour, 34-minute spacewalk, Drew and fellow NASA astronaut Steve Bowen installed the J612 power extension cable, move a failed ammonia pump module to the External Stowage Platform 2 on the Quest Airlock for return to Earth at a later date, installed a camera wedge on the right hand truss segment, installed extensions to the mobile transporter rail and exposed the Japanese ‘Message in a Bottle’ experiment to space.

STS-133Alvin Drew takes in the view as he exits the International Space Station’s airlock. Drew became the 200th person to walk in space.

STS-133Steve Bowen (left), Michael Barratt (centre) and Alvin Drew are pictured in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station as they prepare for the start of the mission’s first spacewalk. Bowen and Drew are wearing Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuits.

STS-133In this image taken by space station astronaut Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronauts Steven Bowen in the red striped spacesuit, and Alvin Drew, partially obscured, work on the International Space Station during their first spacewalk.

STS-133Steve Bowen (L) and Alvin Drew carry out maintenance work on the International Space Station

STS-133Robonaut 2, better known as R2, will have to wait until May before being unpacked and tested as a potential astronaut helper. The space station residents are swamped with other chores during this week’s visit by Discovery, and Endeavour will be along in April, meaning the robot will stay put for a couple more months. “So far, space is great ? but I suspect it will be even better once I’m out of my box!” R2 said in a Twitter update. The world’s first humanoid in space cannot speak and certainly can’t write or post tweets.

STS-133This close-up view of the nose of Discovery shows the thermal tiles covering the underside of the space shuttle.

STS-133This view of the nose, the forward underside and crew cabin of the space shuttle Discovery was provided by a space station expedition 26 crew member during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch manouevre.

Pictures: EPA / NASA, AP / NASA