Feeds

NASA 'nauts wrap last spacewalk of shuttle era

Clapped-out ISS ammonia unit stowed aboard Atlantis

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

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.