Shuttle sees Hubble like shining star
Wednesday, May 13th 2009, 12:11 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- They're getting close now.
Astronauts aboard Atlantis are closing in on the Hubble Space Telescope, getting set to grab it and tuck it inside the shuttle's payload bay for a repair job. All this is happening 350 miles high.
As the orbiter does a rendezvous dance, commander Scott Altman reports the telescope is getting brighter like a "star approaching from the east."
Astronaut Megan McArthur is standing by to reach out with the shuttle's robot arm and grab the observatory that's the size of a school bus.
Two teams of astronauts will then do back-to-back spacewalks over the next five days to replace Hubble's batteries and gyroscopes, along with some old gear. If all goes well, they'll also repair two scientific instruments, giving the telescope years of extra life.