Thursday, June 05, 2008

Busy day on the ISS

It’s been a great mission so far for STS-124 and the space shuttle Discovery. They’ve made their first spacewalk, attached the huge Japanese Kibo laboratory to greatly increase the volume available for scientific experiments on the station, and delivered the parts for that famous balky toilet. Today (June 4), astronauts are preparing to enter the Kibo module from inside while two others prepare for another EVA tomorrow to hook up equipment and otherwise prepare the lab for its work.
COMMENT: The ingenuity and ability of human space voyagers never ceases to amaze me. I suspect that’s one factor behind the popular fascination with human spaceflight, even as critics question its costs. These are people like us (healthier and smarter, maybe, but generally like us), walking around in the deadliest environment we know and not just doing work but fixing equipment and developing new approaches when something goes wrong.

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