Bad Astronomy

Bon voyage, Hubble

Yesterday, the crew of Atlantis released Hubble back into the wild. It’s bittersweet, since this is the final scheduled repair of the Grand Dame of orbiting ‘scopes (though I won’t discount the possibility of future missions from private companies…).

NASA just released this astonishing video of the event. It’s well worth the nearly 7 minutes of your time.

I have two favorite parts to this. One is just overall the feel of it: I’m used to hearing and seeing the astronauts through a fuzzy NASA TV feed, but here is video and audio that are crisp and clean. Note how the astronauts are dressed; shirtsleeves and baseball caps, giving them an informal feel, but then listen to them: snapping orders and responding with data, making sure that everything goes according to plan. They’re all business…

… almost. A few seconds after Megan McMcArthur releases Hubble from the robot arm, at about 3:30 in the video, the view of it through the viewport is incredible. I was just thinking, holy cow, look at that! when you can hear Megan say, “Oh baby, look at that!” I think I like her.

Watching this video brings to mind the astronauts’ claim that they’re just people who work in space. But you know what? They’re people who work in space.

Look what we do.

Tip o’ the aperture door to AstroPixie.