Thursday, August 4, 2005
REPAIR IN SPACE. Earlier in the week, Astronaut Stephen Robinson made the first repair in space to the tender belly of the shuttle Discovery. With hacksaw and cutters ready in hand, Robinson was attached to the end of the shuttle's robotic arm, moved under the shuttle, and carefully positioned in front of thousands of ceramic tiles that shield the shuttle from extreme heat during reentry. In the end, Robinson was able to simply pluck out filler material that had been protruding from between several tiles. Camera and survey systems, along with repair protocols, have been used for the first time in this mission; it is the most scrutinized shuttle mission ever.