Feeds

Space-walkers launch 'Nanosatellite'

While the ISS goes a bit wobbly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Astronauts on board the International Space Station released a mini-satellite and installed new communication antennae during a four-hour space walk yesterday. They finished their tasks just before the station's overloaded gyroscopes caused the station to drift and roll slightly.

That station should have three gyros, but one has been out of service for the last two weeks because of a circuit breaker failure. The two remaining gyros have had to pick up the slack, and will continue to carry the extra load until a the problem is repaired by visiting astronauts, slated to arrive in two months' time.

NASA said that the station was without attitude control for less than 20 minutes, and that the crew was in no danger, according to Associated Press reports. Once the two spacewalkers were at a safe distance, the jets were reactivated, stabilising the station.

Flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov released the satellite about two hours into the walk, while mission commander Leroy Chiao photographed its departure. The foot-long, so-called nanosatellite will transmit data on its manoeuvres to scientists as it orbits the earth. The information will be used to develop better control techniques for small craft and new attitude sensor systems. Russian scientists reported that the tiny orbiter had sent a good signal two hours after its deployment.

Spacewalks now leave the station completely empty, since the grounding of Shuttle means there are only two, instead of the usual three, astronauts aboard. The stations systems were either switched off or set to autonomous mode during the walk. ®

Related stories

ISS resupply runs on rails
ISS resupply blasts off today
Reg chats with ISS veteran

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.