Friday, May 15, 2009

Live in Orbit: Eighth Longest Spacewalk is Over

Atlantis astronauts Mike Massimino and Mike Good have wrapped up the mission's second spacewalk, and it was a long one: seven hours, 56 minutes.

That makes it the eighth longest spacewalk ever, just a tad longer than one that performed very similar tasks on the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993.

Today's work was scheduled to take six hours and 30 minutes, but the installation of six new gyroscopes took longer than expected because one pair wouldn't fit properly.

The team switched to a spare, refurbished pair, then regrouped to install the first of two new sets of batteries inside the telescope.

"Batteries are included on this mission," astronaut John Grunsfeld said once the spacewalkers were inside the airlock.

Despite the hitch with the gyros, all of the day's tasks were accomplished.

The mission's first spacewalk, on Thursday, also lasted more than seven hours after a bolt holding in a science instrument proved difficult to loosen.

"Hubble again threw us some curves today," mission commander Scott Altman said before the battery work began.

Grunsfeld and partner Drew Feustel are scheduled to suit up Saturday for the mission's third of five planned spacewalks.

Because of today's extended day, the crew will get to go to sleep and wake up an hour later than previously scheduled.


Anonymous said...

With all the engineers, blueprints, calipers, lasers, and years to get ready, I as a simple backyard mechanic fail to understand how things can't fit. haven't we progressed beyond the trying to put the square peg in the round hole?

Anonymous said...

Under 8 hours? The rest of us work at least that. Granted not 200 miles above Earth but... There better be some very good pictures from Hubble. Personally, I would like to see all the photos from Hubble that WEREN'T released. Now those would be very interesting...

Anonymous said...

Oh give me a break! Talk about your kill joys. If we could transport "Under 8 hours?" and "square peg" to October 22, 1989 and Menlo Park, I'm sure they'd post the following comment... "Sure, I guess its a nice light bulb but, come on Tom, look at all the times you've failed." We are witness to an amazing adventure taking place 300 miles above our head in the harsh, unforgiving vacuum of space. It's pure science, engineering, and human adventure all rolled into one! If you can't get a little excited about this maybe you should check yourselves for a pulse.

Anonymous said...

Eighth longest spacewalk,Does he get an EIGHTH PLACE TROPHY? WHY IS THIS NEWS?