Friday, May 15, 2009

Live in Orbit: Gyroscope Work Complete

Atlantis spacewalkers have completed replacement of three gyroscope assemblies on the Hubble Space Telescope, the mission's top priority.

But the last set was an old spare, not a newer design, which the crew resorted to after repeated attempts to install the new unit failed in two different locations.

The spare proved a tough fit as well.

"I'm wrestling with it the best I can, but I just can't get it in," said spacewalker Mike Good, who was positioned on the end of the shuttle's robotic arm with a drill.

He eventually got the job done.

The spare is the same type of gyros that was installed in 1999, the last time the telescope got a fresh set. Only three of the six gyros installed then were working before today.

Successful installation of two new sets met the mission's minimum success criteria. Three constituted full success.

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