Indonesia Shared

11.4.10

Space shuttle performs back flip to dock on to International Space Station

The thought of parking even the smallest car in a tight space can often leave nervous drivers terrified.
But astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery took performing a three-point turn to a whole new level yesterday when they performed a back flip before docking the shuttle underneath the International Space Station (ISS).
The shuttle commander Alan Poindexter skillfully docked Discovery at 2.30am on Wednesday morning. 


Space shuttle Discovery before its back flip maneuver
You have reached your destination: The space shuttle Discovery pulls into position for the manoeuvre


Space station
1, 2, 3, turn! Discovery begins its unusual three point turn


Back flip
Result: The shuttle ends up upside down, in the perfect position to dock onto the space station

Later the same day astronauts from Discovery used a robotic arm to lift a 13-ton cargo carrier from the payload bay onto the space station.
Half of container is taken up by science experiments and supplies, as well as a new bedroom and freezer.
Nasa said the sleeping compartment may be turned into a powder room, where space station residents can take sponge baths in an enclosed space. At the moment astronauts run the risk of drops of water floating away and getting into electronic equipment when they clean up.
In total the crew will unload and transfer 17,000 pounds of science racks and other supplies.

shuttle
A shuttle crew member is seen waving (top right) as the commander of the Discovery shuttle prepared to dock without radar support

The Italian-built cargo carrier - named Leonardo after Signor da Vinci - will return to Earth filled with rubbish and old equipment.
Then it will be beefed up and flown back up in September as a permanent storage unit for the space station. That will be the last shuttle flight.
 
Meanwhile the crew have been busy sending huge reams of data from the station to Mission Control.
The files contain laser images of the space shuttle Discovery, which was unable to send the information directly due to a broken antenna that was revealed when it reached orbit.


Discovery
A close-up view of one of the space shuttle Discovery's wings. Every shuttle is checked for damage post-launch after the 2003 Columbia disaster

Nasa will study the pictures sent from the ISS of Discovery's wings and nose cone. Ever since the 2003 Columbia tragedy, Nasa has checked each shuttle for any launch damage to the heat shields following lift-off.
The fault meant the Discovery crew also had to dock without the use of the normal radar tracking system.
Commander Poindexter used a video feed of the docking hatches to line the shuttle up with the ISS. It was only the second docking without radar assistance in 10 years.

space station Astronaut Soichi Noguchi captured the shuttle Discovery approaching the station during docking

The latest mission marks the achievement of having four women aboard the same spacecraft for the first time.
Americans Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Stephanie Wilson and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazak, joined American Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who was launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan on Friday with two Russian male astronauts.
It was also the first time two Japanese astronauts have been aboard the space station simultaneously.
Three spacewalks are planned over the coming days to replace a depleted ammonia tank that is part of the space station's cooling system. The first will take place today.

Clayton Anderson
Clayton Anderson (top) inspects the spacesuits in the Quest airlock. They will be used during three upcoming space walks

TopOfBlogs
Cultural Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory
Page Ranking Tool

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

 
Indonesia Headlines. Design by Wpthemedesigner. Converted To Blogger Template By Anshul Tested by Blogger Templates. News. Free Ebooks. Tourism. Celebrities. Movie. Unique. Science. Techno. World Record. Entertainment. Health. seo. Bali.