Thursday, May 14, 2009

High-risk spacewalks to fix Hubble's broken parts

News like this is not paid attention to, but is more exciting and dramatic than any action flick we might go see . . . because it is for real.

STORY FROM AP: Astronauts step out on 1st spacewalk to fix Hubble

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A pair of spacewalking astronauts stepped outside Thursday to begin demanding repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope, a job made all the more dangerous because of the high, debris-ridden orbit.

John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel emerged from space shuttle Atlantis and quickly got started on their first job, a camera swap. The telescope — the size of a school bus — loomed over them.

"Ah, this is fantastic," Grunsfeld said as he floated out.

"Woo-hoo," Feustel shouted.

It was the first of five high-risk spacewalks to fix Hubble's broken parts, install higher-tech science instruments and make the observatory more powerful than ever.

Atlantis and its crew are traveling in an especially high orbit, 350 miles above Earth, that is littered with pieces of smashed satellites. A 4-inch piece of space junk passed within a couple miles of the shuttle Wednesday night, just hours after the shuttle grabbed Hubble. Even something that small could cause big damage.

NASA HUBBLE MISSION SITE

1 comment:

Cole said...

That's pretty cool.

I think It's pretty amazing how the Hubble Space Telescope can go all the way back to reveal the first galaxies in the universe to ever form.