Feeds

Atlantis crew loses nuts on space walk

Sounds worse than it is

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?