:: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 ::
Gap Fillers Removed
++ Photos from NASA TV.
Space: At 855am Eastern, high over the coast of France, Discovery Astronaut Steve Robinson pulled out the second of two protruding gap fillers sticking out from between the two nose area thermal protection tiles. He was mounted on the end of Canada Arm boom. I watched it live on NASA-TV's internet feed and on CNN. I did both so I could get the muted big pic on the TV and only the astronauts talking and not the talking heads on CNN. At least it was Miles O'Brien doing the commentary for CNN and he know his stuff, but it was better to hear it from Robinson on the end of the Canada Arm II.
OPUT was the quote I heard after all the drama was over : Over Prepared and Under Tasked. Meaning they had thought of every option, and it turned out to be much easier than thought. Robinson just pulled the pieces out with his fingers, the forceps and the hack saw blade not needed. Took almost four hours to get him ready and in position and a handful of seconds to remove the offending objects. High drama at 220 miles up.
And Robinson had this kick ass camera in a white protective space suit like housing. He said that he took some awesome pics up there and he was glad he bought a camera along. The aerodynamic curves of the belly of the shuttle, it's wings and body contrasting with the angular set up of the space station. That is going to be some potentially good advertizing for one camaera maker. I hope we get to see some of that soon. Mission control asked for an autographed picture when Robinson gets back home.
After the live TV coverage stopped - the low attention span of CNN for some things dictating moving on to other stuff, I continued to watch as they made their way back inside. Some very cool video shots of the shuttle, Earth, station and the two EVA astronauts. Soichi Noguchi was also outside during the walk for support. Spectacular work.
Well done guys. We can breath a little easier now.
:: Mike Wood 09:01 [+] ::
This reminds us that there's still room for awe and wonder in this world - and beyond it. I hope this mission injects a newfound sense of purpose into the agency, and into the lawmakers who approve its funding. The world needs this, and no amount of space-vs-feed-the-hungry argument will change this very elemental fact.
Thanks for giving this the attention it so richly deserves.
Hey, watching it wasn't much. Doing the body work at 17,000kph was something.
Podcasting from Outer Space ;)