Mission Day 3: No time to float around

Well it was a busy day up in space…

(It might seem slow, but it’s worth remembering both of those objects are moving at 17,500 mph.)

After docking Both teams waited an hour (i’m guessing like any first date it’s good to keep them waiting) before opening the hatches and those watching on NASA TV unfortunately only saw this…

Before the downlink of the video failed and we were left with the wonderful view of mission control (rumours are that, in the style of Big Brother when it used to swiftly cut to the sound of birds when people swore, NASA was forced to cut to mission control because @astrorobonaut got confused which of the ‘Kellys’ was on the station and started to tell an embarrassing story).

Not content with just enjoying a bit of a cup of tea and a sit down after their long journey both the station and shuttle team got straight to work with the major task of transferring the Express Logistics Carrier

This is a fairly hefty piece of kit and if you want to read about it Spaceflight 101 has a pretty decent breakdown that can be found here.

Tomorrow morning brings more Canadarm based fun for both teams, as they move the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer over to the station, the single most expensive scientific payload ever to be flown into space.

This piece of tech is REALLY important. It’s looking for dark matter and could really change the understanding of our universe. But it’s also monitoring cosmic radiation, vital if we plan on packing things up and heading into deep space.

One last point about what went on up in space today. Post the Columbia disaster every Shuttle performs a ‘Rendezvous Pitch Manoeuvre’. Essentially a backflip that allows the station crew to take pictures of the Shuttle’s underbelly in case of any heat shield damage. Spaceflight 101 are reporting this…

Personally this is hardly surprising, NASA’s not going to be taking chances with the final two shuttles, not to mention the lives of several human beings.

However it wasn’t just a busy day in space. Back on the ground they’re making progress with Atlantis, latest pic shows it with it’s cradle on, it should be ‘mated’ by the end of the day.



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