Feeds

Atlantis creeps up on Hubble

Engineers examine images of 'minor' shuttle damage

Security for virtualized datacentres

Space shuttle Atlantis is poised to rendevous with the Hubble Space Telescope on its final servicing mission to the venerable eye in the sky.

Shortly before 15:00 GMT, NASA reported: "Orbiting nearly 50,000 feet (9 1/2 statute miles) behind the telescope, Atlantis' crew performed a precisely-targeted thruster firing called the Terminal Initiation, or TI burn, setting the stage for the final phase of the rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope.

"Atlantis will close the final miles to the telescope during the next orbit of Earth. During that time the shuttle’s rendezvous radar system will begin tracking Hubble by measuring the distance and rate of closure. Capture of Hubble will occur in a little over two hours."

NASA specifies that the "actual grapple of the telescope using the shuttle’s robotic arm is scheduled for 12:54 p.m. EDT" (16:54 GMT).

Back on Earth, engineers "continue to examine the images captured during Tuesday’s inspection of Atlantis’ thermal protection system and exterior surfaces". This revealed "one area of damage on the forward part of the spacecraft where the wing blends into the fuselage".

According to NASA this is "very minor and of no concern for the mission, and the flight team notified the crew late Tuesday that no focused inspection of that particular area is necessary".

Atlantis's mission STS-125 will see five space walks, during which the crew will "refurbish, restore and renew the Hubble Space Telescope".

There's a mission summary here (pdf) and overview here. ®

Bootnote

NASA has released a nice snap of Atlantis's lift-off showing Endeavour on the adjacent launch pad 39B, ready to go should it be required in an emergency:

Atlantis launch with Endeavour on launch pad 39B

There's a bigger version here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.