BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Have you ever wondered what it’s like to open a hatch aboard a space shuttle and look over the Earth?
NASA Astronaut Mike Good knows that feeling.
“I just stopped and I looked and I couldn’t believe it,” Good said. “But I quickly realized you’ve got to get to work here and you’re going to have to let go with this hand and take that next step and keep going.”
That was Good’s day 10 years ago on a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission began with extensive training in NASA’s gigantic pool, as close to zero gravity as it comes on Earth.
Part of the training in the gigantic pool included using power tools under water.
“If you’re not holding on, you will spin around,” Good said. “So you have to hold onto something and kind of brace yourself to react to the torque of that tool.”
The servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope meant swapping out old instruments and batteries with new.
In Good’s case, it called for some of the longest spacewalks ever taken to extend Hubble’s life and its far-reaching visions.
“The spacewalks are actually very demanding,” Good said. “I’ve run a few marathons and I’d like to put it in that same category.”
With space shuttles due to be retired, this was the last trip to Hubble and the last chance to extend its life.
“When we left 10 years ago, it was at the apex of its capability,” Good said.
The success of the final mission to the Hubble Telescope continues to pay off.
“New discoveries about black holes, other planets we call exoplanets that are going around their suns,” Good said. “Ultimately, we’re invested in finding out if there’s another life in the universe.”