back to article 'Bolt removal issue' hits Hubble spacewalk

Astronaut Mike Massimino yesterday used some good, old-fashioned brute force to resolve a "bolt removal issue" during the fourth STS-125 mission spacewalk on the Hubble Space Telescope. Mike Good and Mike Massimino during yesterday's fourth spacewalk. Pic: NASA Massimo and Mike Good (see pic) were tasked with replacing a low- …


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  1. Colin

    dodgy diy

    Good to see even NASA aren't beyond resorting to the odd dodgy fix ! Now will they finish the job with a bit of space gaffer tape ?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    8 Hours none stop?

    It kinda ruins the image of the astronauts when you realise after an 8 hour space walk he just have pissed in the suit at least once...

  3. Lionel Baden

    wouldnt you love to

    Just chuck it at earth

    Take that you human Scum

  4. Anonymous Coward


    "Massimo and Mike Good (see pic)"

    Mike is in the white suiit and the other Mike is err... in... the other white suit.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one word


  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Stripped bolt.

    Been there, seen it, done it, bought the T-shirt, seen the film and got the collectable figurines.

    One thing puzzles me though. In order to actually have a stripped bolt in the first place, some SOB must have stripped it. I wasn't aware that NASA had previously taken the Hubble into Kwik-Fit* for servicing.

    *Note for Americans. Kwik-Fit is a franchised chain of bodgers^H^H^H^H^H^H^Htyre and exhaust fitters. Their favourite tool is the air hammer with the torque settings permanently fixed at "....and the horse you rode in on", invariably fitted with a socket that's half a size too large. Rumour has it that they invented the rounded nut.

  7. LaeMi Qian

    Space suits are designed to be peed in

    or at least the special underwear part of the suit is.

    (Well, last time I checked, which was admittedly over 25 years ago.)

    Besides, I can hold 8 hours with only minor discomfort if I don't drink, though my renollogist advises against it! Kidney stones are not fun!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    What a job...

    Sure beats rope access engineering eh!

  9. GrahamT

    They forgot to pack the WD40

    Old bikers' maxim:

    If it moves and shouldn't, use Gaffer tape;

    If it doesn't move and should, use WD40.

  10. Yorkshirepudding

    low tech solution

    its heartwarming to know that in these hi tech times of interwebs, biphones and killer death flying machines that when man finds himself almost bested by a machine a good tug or swift smack with a blunt object resolves the problem

    "when in doubt give it a clout"

  11. Wize

    They will need that gaffer tape on the broken off handrail

    Sharp edges + pressurised suit = pop

  12. Anonymous John

    @Stripped bolt.

    It's a law of nature. There's always one nut or bolt that can't be undone.

    I was very surprised that the 100+ screws that held the inspection plate on caused no problems. All removed in about 30 minutes with the help of a custom made plastic cover to trap the pingfukkits.

  13. Wize
    Thumb Up

    @Anonymous John

    I had a minor tea/monitor accident thanks to your screw description.

  14. Robert Sneddon

    Moon Boots

    Space-based brute-force has been common enough in the past. It even made it into the Apollo miison planning books. Part of the job of the astronauts on the Moon was to deploy seismometers on the surface. If they didn't work after being put in place there were a couple of things the astronauts could do to try and rectify the problem. The last "solution" on the checklist was "...apply Lunar Boot" i.e. give it a swift kick. It might just work and it couldn't hurt since they weren't planning on bringing it back for a refund.

  15. T-Bo

    Percussive Maintenance

    "If it jams, force it - if it breaks, it needed replacing anyway"

  16. Sureo

    stripped bolt?

    I use a vice grip to remove stripped screws and bolts. They did bring a vice grip along, didn't they?

  17. Jerry

    whack it til it breaks.....?

    If it is stuck, whack it with something heavy until it breaks - how many years of PhD courses did it take to come up with this solution?

    Ohh - yes - it IS rocket science.

  18. Martin Lyne

    Sharp edges + pressurised suit = pop

    "Sharp edges + pressurised suit = pop"

    I believe modern space suits incorporate multiple layers of kevlar (as in, the cloth).

    I could swear I read something about htem being built to withstand minor micrometeorite impacts. Although that's a lot of energy in a small area, I'd be dubious if they really could.

    But I'm quite sure casual ripping isn't an issue.

    I think holding your urine is pretty bad too, micro gravity helping the formation of stones and all. Yowch.

  19. Anonymous John

    @ Moon Boots

    I believe that Al Bean did try hitting a malfunctioning camera on Apollo 12.

  20. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    A use for my massive King Dick

    Always useful for serious engineering and the odd party - a large spanner that puts the fear of God in to any difficult screws.

    Mine has the deep pockets with the metallic rattle...

  21. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Frozen or Stripped?

    In the vacuum of space, protective coatings can evaporate.

    On earth, technicians can forget to add that anti-gall goop.

    With no oxygen to create an oxide film, metals will have a tendancy to weld together.

    Let's just hope no life is endangered by the now ben railing. Better not let the fire marshall see this one.

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