Monday, May 18, 2009

Spacewalk goes awry for Shuttle mascot


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - The fifth and final spacewalk for Shuttle Atlantis mission STS-125 ended abruptly today when astronauts had to retrieve their dog.

Gus, the house pet aboard Atlantis, had already been for a spacewalk, but got out again through an open window.

Mission specialist John Grunsfeld was a little flustered, but took things in stride considering that he had to cut short some of the activities planned for that last walk.

"We got all the batteries, sensors and thermal blankets replaced on the Hubble Space Telescope," said Grunsfeld. "But we were going to cook a few bratwurst outside before Gus got away from us. I guess he just took himself for a little walk."

"Fortunately, Atlantis has a powerful and lengthy robotic arm, which helped pull him to safety. Otherwise, he would be going not for a walk, but an orbit of his own."

Gus and the crew of Atlantis are all back aboard safe, getting ready for their return to Earth on Friday.
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