Feeds

Atlantis crew loses nuts on space walk

Sounds worse than it is

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.