Feeds

Atlantis crew loses nuts on space walk

Sounds worse than it is

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Proof that even the most exalted rank of astronaut does not make you immune to the horrors of flat-pack furniture.

OK, the setting is rather more exotic than the average living room, and the kit isn't from IKEA, but somehow it heartens us to hear that the space-walking astronauts of the Atlantis mission have lost a bolt, a spring and a washer during their first time outside the shuttle.

The crew has started installing the extension of the station's backbone that will carry the much-needed solar arrays. Space-walkers Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Joe Tanner were wiring up the extension when the fixings floated free.

NASA says it is now trying to work out whether this is a problem. We certainly hope they packed spares.

The crew has a second space-walk planned for Wednesday, and earlier in the space-walk NASA confirmed that it would go ahead as scheduled. Engineers on the ground had judged further inspections of the Shuttle's heat shields to be unnecessary, meaning no further delays for the mission.

A third space-walk is planned for Thursday, by which time the extension should be installed and powered up. The solar arrays will be unfurled during the third outing.

NASA is certainly not resting on its laurels during this mission: time is of the essence. The Russians are launching their next Soyuz flight to the ISS on September 14th, and NASA's astronauts must be clear of the station by then.

Our thanks to Vulture eyed reader Matthew Barratt for spotting the detail that made an otherwise routine space-walk story (if there could be such a thing) much more fun. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.