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NASA Space Upgrades

Astronauts Begin Final Spacewalk To Repair Hubble 94

An anonymous reader writes "Astronauts John Grunsfield and Andrew Feustel began the fifth and final spacewalk of their Hubble Space Telescope repair mission this morning at 8:20AM. During their spacewalk the two will install the second battery group replacement in an equipment bay above the Wide Field Camera 2 and next to the compartment where the first battery set was installed on the second spacewalk. Each of the battery module weighs 460 pounds and contains three batteries. The batteries provide electrical power to support Hubble's operations during the night when there's no sun to power the solar arrays."
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Astronauts Begin Final Spacewalk To Repair Hubble

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  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <> on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:42AM (#27997629) Homepage Journal

    Let me just say, thanks NASA for the astronaut helmet cams! That footage lets me live out my astronaut fantasies without all the space-induced nausea and military training.

  • Re:Proof... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:51AM (#27997817)

    Seems like it would have been a perfectly valid statement if they added ".... on Earth." to the end of the sentence.

    Would you prefer they only talk about the mass of objects in space? (something that wouldn't make sense to the majority of their readers)

    Whereas, "460 pounds" makes sense to everyone (well, everyone using the imperial system) even if it's technically incorrect.

  • Re:Proof... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:53AM (#27997867) Journal
    There are two possibilities:

    1. "Science" Journalist studied journalism in journalism school. He writes ok; but his only science credentials involve being able to "rewrite in his own words" NASA press releases.

    2. Science Journalist is a perfectly decent dude, and submitted a story with a mass in kilograms value. He was then smacked down by an editor for violating "standards" that require using imperial measures in the US. Since, as everybody knows, a kilogram is 2.2lbs universally, a simple multiplication brought the copy into compliance with correct standards.
  • Re:Proof... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by multisync ( 218450 ) on Monday May 18, 2009 @12:02PM (#27998071) Journal

    Whereas, "460 pounds" makes sense to everyone (well, everyone using the imperial system) even if it's technically incorrect

    Well, technically the batteries weigh the same while on Earth as they do while orbiting it, they're just falling at the same rate as the shuttle, astronauts and Hubble, so they appear weightless. Are you "weightless" while skydiving?

  • by Maddog Batty ( 112434 ) on Monday May 18, 2009 @12:18PM (#27998371) Homepage

    Only true if the HST + shuttle were stationary and balanced on a very tall table rather than being in orbit. As they are actually in free fall, effective gravity is zero and hence the weight is zero too.

    (Yes I do understand that gravity is acting on the HST + shuttle to keep it in orbit but there is no force required to support them which is the definition of weight)

  • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Monday May 18, 2009 @12:38PM (#27998737) Homepage

    If it redirects you to the "no player found" page (as it did for me), try:

    mplayer -playlist ''

    (The original link is [], but MPlayer doesn't seem to be able to handle multiple levels of playlists.)

    As one who (perhaps from Kubrick's 2001) had a sense of EVA actions being slow, deliberate things, it's neat to see that the work's going practically as smoothly as if it was being done in a lab.

  • by frieko ( 855745 ) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:12PM (#28001425)
    You're wrong, GP is right. Weight is the amount of force needed to hold an object stationary, or equivalently, the amount of gravity acting on the object. Regardless of the actual amount of opposing force. You don't look up at a falling anvil and think, "whew, good thing it's weightless!"

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger