Posted by: mrpeatie | May 12, 2009

Dangerous Shuttle Mission to Fix Hubble

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center yesterday in a dangerous mission to fix the ailing Hubble Space Telescope. This mission is so dangerous that it was actually already cancelled once for safety reasons and a second space shuttle is ready to be launched in case a rescue missions is necessary.

The reason for the danger is that Hubble’s orbit is about 100 miles higher than that of the Space Station which is where the shuttle usually goes. At this height there is much more space debris and junk that could be perilous for the shuttle if it were to be hit. There have been several missions to fix Hubble in the past so NASA is confident the Shuttle will be ok from debris, but the risks are greater at these heights. The other dangerous aspect of the mission is the repairs themselves. Most of the work that needs to be done to fix Hubble and extend its lifespan by about 5 years are things that were never designed to be fixed in space.

If you are into the Twitter thing, be sure to follow Astro_Mike. He is one of the astronauts on the mission and is set to deliver the first tweet from space. You can also follow the mission updates on the SpaceFlight Now web site or their Twitter feed.



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