Friday, November 2, 2007

Most Dangerous And Difficult Spacewalk

Saturday November 3rd. astronauts on the shuttle Discovery mission STS 120 will be making what they are calling the most difficult and dangerous spacewalk ever attempted. During the mission's third spacewalk which consisted of moving a large solar array panel on the " P6 truss" which by the way weighs 35,000 lbs, as they were extending the array astronauts noticed a couple rips in one of the panels. They immediately stopped the extending process fearing more damage and took pics to send home. The array is 80% deployed, is still generating 97% of its full capacity but NASA scientists are saying it is structurally unstable and must be repaired.

The plan is to "button-up" the two rips with "cuff links" which the astronauts crafted with supplies found in the station's lab. Astronaut Scott Parazynski will be attached to an extension, attached to the Canadarm (above picture), take the one hour ride out to the problem area and effect repairs. What makes this mission more difficult is that as Scott Parazynski is repairing the array there is a possibility of electrical shock as the panel is supplying 110 volts, generating 13.4 hp. and there is no off switch, once the array is deployed it's on.

Comet Holmes continues to get bigger! It's like I found a new toy, every night I look forward to getting out and viewing the comet. What is really unusual about this whole situation is that I have had clear skies almost every night since the comet increased a million times in brightness. If you haven't yet, get out and take a look, very easy to spot now, as it gets dark look to the NE half way up from the horizon, you will see a fuzzy yellowish ball, that's the comet. I'd like to have you all over to show you what it looks like through a telescope, it is too cool, if you can get or borrow someones binoculars do it, who knows how long it will last, maybe only a couple more weeks, enjoy it while you can. Below is the first image I took last Wednesday October 25th. at 200x, below that is my most current one taken October 31st. at just 74x. Notice the green halo around the comet on my most current image, that is fluorescing gases mostly carbon monoxide, one of the byproducts of the explosion.

Comet Holmes October 25th. 200X

Comet Holmes October 31st. 74X

Rose over at World Outside my Window , who by the way helps many people out with her tips and knowledge on blogging, has honoured me with the "Community Blogger Award" It is awarded to people who reach out and make the blogging community a better one. Again I thank you Rose and will proudly display it with my other awards along the side of my blog. I would like to pass on this award to Shirley over at Way Cool Pictures. Shirley always brightens up my day with cool pics from around the globe, and on her blog as you scroll down has a "Thank You" and a picture of a smiley cat, and I love cats, so she gets the award.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Super comet photos and space station photos!!!

I'm worried about the space station.

We'll have to try viewing the comet through binoculars.

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, better enjoy the comet well you still can

shirley said...

Thank you so much for the award Bob! That comet is sure cool! I'm still looking for my binoculars.. I put them somewhere, I don't know where, and so I am enjoying the photos you've been posting!

Bob Johnson said...

Your welcome Shirley, hope you find your binocs!

kml said...

I heard about the upcoming repairs on the news and I hope they have dotted all their i's for poor guy who has to go fix it. They mentioned they were insulating all the tools to help absorb the shock - we will all be hoping for the best for this brave astronaut.

Love your pics, Bob! 200 power is just too much now for this giant guy - unbelievable!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy! I'm watching NASA tv and CNN tv right now as they are repairing the panel, very cool.

Rick said...

You've got some of the best Holmes pics out there Bob!!

We're all going to be holding our breath during that spacewalk...

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Rick, the space walk is wrapping up as I do this comment, successful mission, just extending the solar array.

Anna said...

Wow, Bob this is the most dangerous mission! Firsly I have to give to them finding stuff in their lab to repair it, secondly for next mission they should design well insulated space suites for electrical repairs - like I always say, wear rubber boots.

Congrats on your award, and guess what I already had it and I was thinking about you because you didn't have that one - but I guess I came too late again - I was guarding well in my vault. Like I said on the comment on my post to you, I think one day I will design one special 'space award' for you, just wait.

Anna said...

...and about the comet, I saw it. I don't have binoculars, but I looked through my camera lens, and I tried and tried to take photo, not good enough. I had instabillity issues, any camera movement, even just the click creates slightest movement and I get lines on the photo. But just through lens its great to see it and thanks to you knowing what it is. The other day I was thinking about why brigher, and all I can come up with is coming our way, lol. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, the mission was a success, got the solar array all fixed up. The comet is a bit to light for a good camera shot unless you have a good steady tripod, and then you have to have it guided unless you take short 10 sec exposures and stack them in a different program, thanks for thinking of me for the award.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I read this morning that the Holmes comet is visible to the naked eye. Of course we have rain and possible snow hanging over our heads and can't see a thing in the sky.

Wild wave and congrats on the award!!!

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, the comet will be around for the next couple weeks, hopefully you'll get to see it yet.

Oswegan said...

I watched a show about this recently.

Talking about hanging your butt out on a limb. Man, I don't think I could do it.

Visions of drifting off into space . . .


Bob Johnson said...

Hi oswegan, I watched him out on the limb doing the repairs, it was down right scary!, Like you said fears of flowing into space.

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