NASA: Astronauts use robotic arm to check for damage
Shuttle Endeavour crew checks heat shield, spacesuits before docking with space station
Computerworld - The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is using the robotic arm onboard the shuttle to check the vehicle for any damage that might have been caused during liftoff.
The shuttle blasted off early Monday morning from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Bound for a Wednesday rendezvous with the International Space Station, the shuttle is loaded down with a new piece of the station, as well as a new control room for the orbiter's robotics equipment.
The astronauts got some sleep after the early-morning liftoff and woke at 6:15 p.m. EST to get to work. The main job on their itinerary between Monday night and Tuesday morning is to use the shuttle's robotic arm, along with its 50-foot-long orbiter boom sensor system, to take pictures of Endeavour's wings and nosecap.
They're inspecting the thermal protection system tiles and reinforced carbon panels for any damage that might have occurred during takeoff. The inspection, which is standard procedure following any shuttle launch, uses cameras and lasers at the end of the boom to provide 3-D views of the shuttle, NASA noted.
The images then are sent to NASA's ground facilities where engineers will inspect them for any problems with the shuttle's thermal protection system, which will be needed to protect the craft during the blazing temperatures it will encounter during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
While a few astronauts work on the inspection, NASA noted that others will be inspecting the spacesuits that they'll wear during the mission's three scheduled spacewalks. Astronauts also will check out the rendezvous tools the crew will use during the shuttle's approach to the station.
The shuttle crew is on a mission to deliver an Italian-built module that will be connected to the station, along with a seven-windowed cupola, which will serve as a robotics control room.
Endeavour originally was scheduled for a Sunday morning liftoff, but a low cloud ceiling forced NASA to cancel with the astronauts suited up and strapped into their seats. The Monday morning liftoff also appeared to be in some jeopardy because of cloud cover but the skies cleared in time for a smooth blast off.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits
- This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage
- Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About
- As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance
- If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big... All Government IT White Papers
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- All Government IT Webcasts