Feeds

Atlantis creeps up on Hubble

Engineers examine images of 'minor' shuttle damage

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.