Did anyone else watch NASA's repair of the Hubble Space Telescope LIVE on NASA-TV? It is truly a tribute to engineering ingenuity! Space shuttles no longer get attention as engineering feats, but the Atlantis shuttle was different. It had what amounted to a giant screw driver robot arm tucked inside its bay area along with specially designed tools for repairing the Hubble Telescope. Astronauts with feet locked on the tip of that giant screw driver were lifted up and out to work on replacing small items on the giant telescope. Watching them work in streaming REAL TIME was AWESOME! The tools were AMAZING! No need to wait for the replay at IMEX theaters, check it out here.
Our beautiful earth could be seen beyond to provide perspective. Since Friday, the Atlantis and Houston have been dealing with re-entry weather problems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I'm again glued to my laptop watching & listening to the engineers at the controls in Houston & shuttle pilot, Chris Ferguson, bring the Atlantis safely to earth. They have finally been given clearance for the de-orbit burn and to land at Edwards Airbase in the desert of California - at 9:00 a.m. Sunday. BIG CHEERS to all aboard for a safe landing!!
Note the surge of engineering ingenuity is focused on designing batteries for electric automobiles. Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, top expert on lithium-ion vehicle battery technology, is Prof. of Mechanical, Biomedical and Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of Energy Systems Engineering Program at U. of Michigan. Dr. Sastry decided the world needed a new type of battery - not another research paper. Last November, Dr. Sastry founded a new company, Sakti3, raised $15 million in venture capital and engaged an engineering firm with a battery systems development facility in Michigan. Dr. Sastry is now competing aggressively for matching ARRA funds from the Dept. of Energy.