Making Repairs to the Shuttle Discovery


I was excited and a little scared when I heard about the in-flight repairs they were going to have to do on the Shuttle Wednesday.

My friend Mark has a killer telescope at his house, so I headed over there for the big repair and got some awesome photos of the footage.

Robinson tried to pluck two protruding pieces of fire-retardant fabric from the shuttle's bottom.

In his a cumbersome spacesuit, it must have been a real challenge.

This first photo shows him trying to pry out the "gap-filler" cord. Only a tiny bit of the cord poked out of the gap, but that was enough to make everyone nervous at NASA. I think it looked a little too much like a fuse.

Here is a close up of the repair attempt.

This part of the procedure took almost an hour before he gave up.

He is using a pair of space-forceps for the operation. On either side of the cord are the vital heat-shields, which protect the astronauts from the incredible heat generated upon re-entry to Earth's atmosphere. 


It looks easy, but remember, he in weightlessness, dangling on the end of the 50-foot robot arm of Voltron.




After the forceps and lint-roller failed, Astronaut Robinson was forced to use a space hacksaw to cut the cord pieces away.

I got a great photo of this one.

As he finished the repair, he got stopped by two space cops who asked him about some ten-speed bikes that were stolen nearby.

Of course, they apologized and released him after he showed them his Astronaut badge.

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