USA/SPACE: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY MISSION: SATELLITE RETRIEVED
The space shuttle Discovery, with veteran astronaut, John Glenn, onboard successfully retrieved a deep space observation platform on Tuesday.
The giant size game of "cat and mouse" played out 341 miles into space.
The crew of the space shuttle Discovery on Tuesday performed a delicate salvage operation to retrieve a scientific data collection satellite called Spartan.
Spartan was launched from the Shuttle's cargo bay two days ago and has been focused on the sun and deep space ever since.
In that time it has gathered hundreds of images of the solar system.
Tuesday's smooth capture was in marked contrast to the last time Spartan flew aboard the Shuttle.
Last year, the three thousand pound satellite tumbled out of orbit and two astronauts had to go out to retrieve the wayward observer.
Not one solar image was obtained while the satellite was out of the cargo bay on that trip.
However, on Tuesday, there were congratulations all around aboard the flight bridge of the shuttle and from mission control in Houston.
Tomorrow, the Discovery crew will once again launch the Spartan satellite from the cargo bay and it will continue to record solar observations and collect deep space data.
Meanwhile, 77 year old veteran astronaut, John Glenn, appears to be sleeping better aboard the Shuttle.
Prior to Monday, the ageing astronaut had been sleeping only six and a half hours.
After he put on a special sleep suit with monitoring equipment attached to it, he has added an another 30 minutes to his sleep schedule.
Researchers hope the research from John Glenn's sleep habits in space will throw light on why astronauts often sleep fitfully on missions; similar to sleep problems to experienced by the elderly back on Earth.
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