Atlantis Links With Hubble For Repairs - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
01:40 PM

Atlantis Links With Hubble For Repairs

Space shuttle crew begins maintenance operation on giant telescope.

Astronauts aboard the shuttle Atlantis have begun to position the Hubble Space Telescope for repairs.

The spacecraft was nearing the telescope Wednesday as its radar system tracked the telescope and the speed at which the shuttle approached the Hubble. Atlantis closed in on the last 10 miles as it moved 340 miles above the coast of Madagascar.

The crew planned to grab, or capture, the telescope using the shuttle's robotic arm this afternoon and link it to the shuttle using the Flight Support System so they can begin a series of five six- to seven-hour spacewalks to service the Hubble. The first spacewalk is planned for Thursday.

Ground Control engineers are inspecting Atlantis' thermal protection system and exterior, where at least one area was damaged. NASA said Wednesday that the damage, on the front of the shuttle, where the wing meets the fuselage, appears minor. NASA said that it doesn't look like that damage poses a risk to the mission and the STS-125 flight team doesn't believe more inspection of that damaged area is necessary.

The crew awoke around 4 a.m., Wednesday to a Jack Johnson song, "Upside Down," played for mission specialist Megan McArthur. As they slept, the telescope's high-gain antenna retracted to prepare for Atlantis. As the shuttle approached the Hubble, ground crews will move the telescope so it can berth in the shuttle's payload bay.

Once Hubble and Atlantis are linked, the astronauts will inspect the telescope, review procedures for Thursday's spacewalk, and finish inspecting tools they will use, NASA said.

The 11-day mission aims to service the Hubble so it will continue working through at least 2014.

InformationWeek will be highlighting innovative government IT organizations in an upcoming issue. Nominate your agency by submitting an essay on your most innovative IT initiative completed in the last year. Find out more, and nominate your organization -- deadline extended to May 15.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll