Spacewalk over Mass.

I sat enthralled for over an hour yesterday as C-SPAN replayed the delicate and time-consuming spacewalk by astronaut Steve Robinson of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Since the event was being broadcast on C-SPAN, there was no commercial interruption, and very little narration, just amazing pictures from underneath the belly of the shuttle in orbit. I was marginally interested as well to note that during the spacewalk, the first piece of debris – a “gap filler” for the thermal tiles – was removed as the shuttle and the space station orbited silently over Massachusetts.

The whole ordeal was incredibly fascinating, and it reminded me of the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where Dave Bowman attempts the extravehicular maneuver to remove a malfunctioning AE-35 unit. For a little over four hours, it was high tension in space. Luckily, it looks like the crew won’t have to attempt another such repair during this mission.

Click here for video clips (bottom of page)

And don’t forget to practice your own spacewalking skills just in case you find yourself miles above earth in orbit and need to remove dangling thermal tile spacers.

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