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The shuttle crew captured the Hubble Space Telescope

Today, Thursday, the first spacewalk is expected to upgrade the telescope * The engineers on the ground are examining an area in the shuttle's heat shield where damage was found, but claim that it does not endanger the mission

The Hubble Space Telescope as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approaches it, May 13, 2009
The Hubble Space Telescope as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approaches it, May 13, 2009

The space shuttle Atlantis met up with the Hubble Space Telescope this evening. The telescope was captured using the shuttle's robotic arm, around 20:14 Israel time. The telescope will be attached to an area on the shuttle's cargo deck that will support the satellite during the spacewalks to refurbish the telescope, known as the "Lazy Susan".

The Hubble Space Telescope was captured by the shuttle's robotic arm using a camera located on the facility where the telescope will be stored. Astronaut Meghan MacArthur lowered Hubble into the cradle on the Atlantis cargo deck. A long electrical cable provides power from the space shuttle to the telescope. Meanwhile, mission commander Scott Altman positioned the shuttle so that Hubble's solar collectors could collect as much energy as possible to fill the telescope's batteries.

The STS-125 mission team will perform five spacewalks in order to refurbish, restore and renew the space telescope, with the first spacewalk scheduled for Thursday (today).

Engineers continue to examine the images taken by the astronauts on Tuesday of the heat protection system on the outer side of the shuttle. During the test, the engineers noticed a damaged area in the front part of the spacecraft, where the wing merges into the body of the spacecraft. According to initial estimates, it seems that this is a negligible problem and should not jeopardize the mission. The ground crew informed crew members on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday but did not ask them to examine the site again.

3 תגובות

  1. What does it matter.. that the ferry crashes, it's its last trip anyway

  2. Even in Colombia in 2003 they said it was a "negligible" fault and the story did not end well...
    You should not take risks!

  3. Precisely the damaged area that is considered negligible sounds quite critical to me - "where the wing merges into the body of the spaceship.". On the other hand, I am not an aeronautical engineer.

    Let's hope that everything will work properly, and we will get an upgraded telescope and the astronauts will return safely

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