Thursday, May 14, 2009

Live In Orbit: First Hubble Spacewalk Under Way

Two telescope repairmen are venturing outside Atlantis this morning as NASA kicks off a five-day flurry of spacewalking work aimed at making the scientific most of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Atlantis lead spacewalker John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel switched their spacesuits to battery power at 8:52 a.m. marking the official start of the first of five spacewalkers the shuttle crew plans over the next five days.

Once outside the shuttle's external airlock, the astronauts will double-check braided steel safety tethers designed to keep the astronauts from floating off into low Earth orbit.

They also will be gathering up tools for their first major task: Removing the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, a workhorse that has delivered the majority of Hubble's most iconic images since it opened eyes on the universe in late 1993.

You can watch the spacewalk unfold live here in The Flame Trench. Simply click the Live Shuttle Broadcast box at the righthand side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage.

Be sure to refresh this page, too, for periodic updates.

Click read more for a library of must-read STS-125 documents. Major mission milestone are listed in this latest revision -- Rev B -- of the NASA TV Schedule.

You can see the more detailed plan for the day here in the crew's Flight Day 4 Execute Package.

Check out this Spacewalk Timeline. It shows what the astronauts will be doing on each of five spacewalks over the next five days.

Here's an STS-125 Mission Summary.

Click here to download and save your own copy of the STS-125 Official NASA Press Kit.

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