11 May 2009
In a little over five hours from now, seven astronauts will be blasted into space for the final Hubble repair mission. I could write all about it, but Mike Brown posted a wonderful entry about the mission, so I will just post a teaser and direct you to his blog, Mike Brown’s Planets:
This week, for the sake of astronomy, seven people will strap themselves on to the top of a controlled explosion and launch themselves almost 200,000 stories into the air. If all goes well, they’ll spend nearly two weeks confined to a tiny container holding the only patch of livable space for 400 miles in any direction, before they drop back to earth in a flaming descent that transforms into a supersonic glissade to the ground.
The seven are the astronauts on the final Space Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. If they are able to carry out everything on their extensive list, they will leave behind an enormously capable telescope capable of years more of distinguished and fascinating scientific inquiry.
Also, remember that you can watch live coverage of the launch on NASA TV, and that Mike Massimino, astronaut and mission specialist for this mission, has been tweeting updates as he gets ready for today’s launch. I wonder if he’ll be able to tweet from space…?