Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Atlantis Shakes Hands with Hubble

Flying 350 feet above earth, Mr. Hubble's Space Telescope was captured by shuttle Atlantis' robot arm this afternoon as the crew prepares for five solid days to repair and service NASA's great observatory.

Occurring minutes late due to commanding issues to Hubble from Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Atlantis' commander Scott Altman slowly guided the orbiter up to Hubble, and astronaut Megan McArthur moved the ship's arm out for the 1:13 pm EDT capture in a fantastic orbital ballet in space.

"Houston, Atlantis. Hubble has arrived on board Atlantis," Altman told Mission Control seconds later. "Nice job, Megan," CAPCOM Dan Burbank told the crew. "It's great to be back with the telescope."

McArthur will berth Hubble and lock it down in a gold covered servicing structure in the rear of Atlantis payload bay.

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