|Internet Image of Hubble Telescope Repair|
Out of This World
by Greg Larson
Ethereal beauty surrounded me in such an inhospitable place. Everything seemed in focus as I floated 250 miles above the earth. The extreme quiet, extreme heat and cold, extreme light and darkness; it was all encompassing. Menacing storms on the ocean below floated past as we continued in orbit. The light and shadows slowly changed with the constant movement.
I gave undivided attention to my duties during the spacewalk as my partner carried out her task to repair the Hubble telescope. I ducked when I saw a large wrench spinning towards me, but she quickly grabbed it just in time.Woah! You need to be more careful with that thing.
Mission Control interrupted our work and informed us that a field of debris was coming towards us. We needed to return to the cockpit of the space shuttle and prepare for our return to earth. Damn! I’d done a lot of preplanning to get my ticket to be here. I didn’t want the mission to end now.
In the dark cockpit, I was on the edge of my ergonomic seat, pressing buttons and communicating with those who served me. I decided to do as I was told if I wanted the mission to be successful. The space was comfortable and the view was one I won’t forget. Special lenses on my optical device enhanced my ability to view and focus far and near.It was inevitable. The debris field began to hit us before we were able to drop out of orbit. First, it was pea-sized particles racing at the speed of bullets, piercing the telescope’s solar panels, and then larger pieces ripped off the shuttle’s robotic arm. The life-support systems were in jeopardy. Would we survive? My partner returned to the cabin. She climbed out of her overheated space suit, gasping for oxygen.
I dipped my battered fish into the special sauce, took a big bite, then sipped on the straw in my coke. Yuck!
I turned to my wife. “This is a diet root beer. I ordered coke.” I turned back to the giant theater screen and adjusted my 3-D glasses. I didn’t want to miss anything.Sandra Bullock filled the screen. She looked pretty good in space underwear. One more hour . . . I think I’ll survive.