Feeds

NASA 'nauts wrap last spacewalk of shuttle era

Clapped-out ISS ammonia unit stowed aboard Atlantis

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

NASA 'nauts Mike Fossum and Ron Garan have wrapped the last spacewalk of the shuttle era, during which they successfully stowed a clapped-out International Space Station ammonia pump in Atlantis's cargo bay.

 Mike Fossum and Ron Garan exiting the Quest airlock at the beginning of today's EVA. pic: NASA TVThe pump is the same unit which failed at the end of July last year, knocking out half of the ISS's cooling system. Spacewalkers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Doug Wheelock heroically battled the troublesome device, eventually replacing it with a new box and leaving the dead kit outside the station for later retrieval.

During today's 6 hour, 31 minute EVA, Fossum and Garan also installed the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) experiment onto a platform on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, aka Dextre.

NASA explains: "In the future, the RRM will demonstrate robotic refueling technology and techniques using Dextre, four unique RRM tools and an RRM enclosure filled with refueling components and activity boards.

"The tests will demonstrate that remote-controlled robots can perform refueling tasks in orbit, using commands sent from controllers on Earth. RRM is expected to reduce costs and risks, and lay the foundation for future robotic servicing missions."

To wrap their excursion's major tasks, the pair installed the Optical Reflector Materials Experiment, part of the Materials on International Space Station Experiment - 8 (MISSE-8), which is designed as "a test bed for materials and computing elements" which are "evaluated for the effects of atomic oxygen, ultraviolet, direct sunlight, radiation, and extremes of heat and cold".

There's more on Atlantis's swansong STS-135 mission right here. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.