NASA astronaut goes a-Twittering
Hubble mission specialist muses on space 'scope and tostadas
Mission specialist Massimino's modest number of updates have to date attracted almost 18,000 followers keen to keep up to speed on what's happening with "Astro_Mike".
Insights include: "Just finished our big rendesvous [sic] simulation, we grappled the telescope successfully, hope we do that well in space!"
On a more domestic note, Massimino noted earlier this week: "Cooking dinner for me and my family, we are having tostada's [sic], too bad I can't make them in space (would be too messy)"*
Massimino will, on 12 May, blast off aboard space shuttle Atlantis for the final 11-day STS-125 "Servicing Mission 4" to Hubble.
Atlantis will "bring new instruments to Hubble along with gyros, batteries and other components crucial for the telescope’s continued success through the year 2013".
During five space walks, the crew will fit replacement gyros, batteries, plus the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3. Also on the agenda are installation of a new Fine Guidance Sensor and the fitting of a replacement Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit - the venerable piece of computing kit whose failure last September knocked back the mission.
Massimino is a veteran of the previous Hubble servicing mission - 2002's STS-109 aboard Columbia. He made two spacewalks on the trip, helping to fit a new solar array and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. ®
*This surely is a tempting challenge for NASA astronosh boffins. After all, if the Koreans can knock together micrograv kimchi and the Indians are working on space curry, then space tostadas must be within human culinary capability.
@jonathan spooner re: ISS platform
I'm assuming you did actually mean "ISS" (International Space Station) and not "IIS" (Microsoft product).
That said: At least one of the reasons there's no large 'scopes mounted to ISS is that they really don't have the kind of fine attitude control that HST has, and also because it needs to hold an attitude that keeps its power arrays aimed at the Sun, as well as making its docking ports accessible to incoming Progress, Soyuz, Verne, and Space Shuttle craft.
The ATM (Apollo Telescope Mount) used on the old SkyLab station worked well, returning valuable new images and data on sunspots and other solar activity, but SkyLab was much smaller and the scope in the ATM was, iirc, able to move independently.
Wonder why they don't choose to strap more telescopes to the IIS rather than building them as satellites?