Mission Day 12+13: The final trip outside and time to pack the bags


Bit of a late blog but yesterday’s EVA was officially the final adventure outside for any astronauts that arrive at the space station using the shuttle. The spacewalk largely involved the odd bit of maintenance but more importantly transferred the space shuttle’s Orbiter Boom Sensor to the International Space Station to act as an extension to the Canadarms already in use, a move not completely dissimilar to taking the cooker when you move house.

In photo news it looks like Nasa is frustratingly holding onto the photos of the shuttle and station in orbit that @astro_paolo took just before returning to earth in a Soyuz capsule. Choosing instead to tease the world with some taken by @astro_taz just before he got back in the airlock.

I can’t actually decide which of those is my favourite. The fourth one had me for quite some time because of the glimpse of the European Space Agency’s ATV in the top right corner, but then the third is such a magnificent close up of a Soyuz. The first and second are good, but can’t compare to this picture of the shuttle in orbit…

A picture that will be upstaged as soon as Endeavour lands (i’m guessing Nasa are waiting for their staff to be safely on the ground before they make a song and dance about a photo).

That will happen in a couple of days time. Hatch closure is set for Sunday, undocking for Monday and reentry for Wednesday, after a bit of testing of the Orion capsule’s rendezvous system brilliantly titled ‘STORRM’ (no spelling error, it’s meant to be like that).

Before all that we got a bit of an update from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer last night, they were having a few connection problems at first…

but after that they told the world how many ‘events’ they had monitored, and it’s quite a few!

There are scientists across the world rubbing their hands with anticipation and firing up super-computers as you read.


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