Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/09/twittering_astronaut/

NASA astronaut goes a-Twittering

Hubble mission specialist muses on space 'scope and tostadas

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 9th April 2009 09:27 GMT

NASA astronaut Mike Massimino has been indulging in some light Twittering ahead of his upcoming trip to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Mike Massimino on TwitterMission 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. ®

Bootnote

*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.