NASA In Brief -- Astronauts repair space station

From NASA Reports
Astronauts made repairs during spacewalk. Image: NASA.
Astronauts made repairs during spacewalk. Image: NASA.

THIS OLD SPACE STATION: Anyone who follows the International Space Station knows that it is like an old house – a high-tech old house floating about 200 miles above Earth.

    But unlike other old homes, when the repairmen are up on the roof, everyone watches. The first mission launched Oct. 31, 2000, and since then the space station has had a long history as a big fixer-upper.
    On Oct. 15, two NASA astronauts spent more than six hours replacing a failed power regulator. Flight engineers Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore also relocated equipment on the station’s exterior to begin setting the stage for reconfiguring the orbiting complex to accommodate future commercial crew vehicles, according to NASA.
    Wednesday’s spacewalk was the 183rd in support of station assembly and maintenance.

HUBBLE SPOTS TARGETS FOR MISSION: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted three Kuiper Belt objects the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015.
     The Kuiper Belt is a vast rim of primordial debris encircling our solar system. Kuiper Belt objects belong to a class of solar system objects that have never been visited by spacecraft and which contain clues to the origin of our solar system.
     Hubble found objects about 10 times larger than typical comets, but only about 1-2 percent of the size of Pluto. Unlike asteroids, these objects have not been heated by the sun and are thought to represent a pristine sample of what the outer solar system was like following its birth 4.6 billion years ago.


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