PBS airs documentary: The Repair of the Hubble Space Telescope

If you’re reading this, you probably are to some degree fascinated with things technical. They’re great . . . until they break. Then somebody’s got to repair them.

photo: NASA

Repairing technical systems is always challenging, especially when they’re mission critical, you’re far from home, have few spare parts, and are stressed by a tight schedule. I’ve been under pressure to repair critical systems, but never in the way that the most recent Hubble repair mission members were. It’s a fascinating documentary: 7 crew members trained for 2.5 years for this repair mission. If they failed, the Hubble telescope might never again work.

I was intrigued to see that even in space, repair technicians encounter reluctant fasteners, bolts that simply can’t be removed, and Phillips head screws that strip out while trying to remove them . . . plus while “floating” (at 13,000 miles per hour) in space they have other problems, including torque reaction every time they try to turn a fastener.

The US PBS (Public Broadcasting System) aired this excellent hour-long documentary — Hubble’s Amazing Rescue — last night. Watch it online!

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