Sunday, November 04, 2007

in case you were wondering about the Space Shuttle

The space shuttle has been docked at the International Space Station. While they were there, the crew of the Endeavor assisted in fixing the screw with the renegade metal filings. To fix the screw, the giant solar wings had to be retracted and the space shuttle moved (I'm still not solid on this one). After the job was completed, as they attempted to re open the wings, they "noticed" a tear in the solar blanket:


Yesterday, an Endeavor crew member engaged in a risky 7 hour space walk operation to fix the tear. The repair spacewalk was supposed to happen sooner, but they've had minor problems I'm not clear about causing delays.

(picture taken from astronaut helmet cam)

When they finally were able to do the space walk, it involved standing near a large field of electric current that couldn't be shut off. The actual task was something to the effect of cutting wires and improvising a jerry rig to hold the tear in place.

After the job was complete, the astronaut returned inside the International Space Station and the crew successfully opened the solar array. The space shuttle is scheduled to return to earth on Wednesday, unless of course something else comes up.

Another article I found explains that the astronauts brought Luke Skywalker's light saber with them. It's not even a real one, it's only a replica. That's really not going to help them in the event of an emergency. I wonder if anyone told the astronauts that it didn't work. How much extra fuel the space shuttle used to launch that extra 5 lbs or so into space?

NASA sure seems confident the shuttle will successfully re-enter the earth at the end of the mission (or at least they're not addressing any concerns). They've been up there for 12 days so far.

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