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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: May 17, 2009Trying to remove a hand rail to clear the way for a long-awaited attempt to fix a failed spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, astronaut Michael Massimino ran into a stubborn fastener and apparently stripped the head during repeated attempts to drive out the recalcitrant screw with a power tool. The bright yellow handrail must be removed to make room for attachment of a custom capture plate needed to safely remove 111 small non-captive screws holding an instrument cover plate in place. Astronaut Mike Massimino tries to remove stuck bolt. Credit: NASA TVThe handrail's central bar is held in place by four screws. Three of those came out with no problem, but the fourth threw a wrench into the crew's plans. After re-tightening one of the loosened screws, Massimino made another attempt to free the stuck fastener."It looks like it's really galled up," Massimino said after repeated attempts to free the recalcitrant screw."It should still go in," Feustel said of the bit. "If it's opened up at all, you should still be able to push the bit in there.""I can push the bit in, yeah. But it doesn't feel... maybe.""We don't want to re-drive or re-attempt with this bit," astronaut Dan Burbank called from Houston. "So we're inclined to have you go to ATM 1 and get the spare yellow bit out of bit caddy 3.""Can we just try it one more time and see if it'll get it? Before we do that?" Massimino asked."The risk is, Mass, if it has a chance at all and we strip it out, then we'll have no chance with a new bit.""We copy and concur," Burbank agreed from mission control."Well, I think you might... all right," Massimino said. "I'm sorry, I don't know if we'll be able to get it. It just looks really stripped.""Is this bit not looking too good, Mike?" Feustel asked."I think the bit is fine, it drove the other one back in.""If the bit's got any material missing at all it just reduces the likelihood that it'll catch and grab that head," Feustel said. "Even in a degraded state, a new bit with fresh edges on it has a reasonable chance of grabbing onto the bolt head."Burbank said flight controllers agreed it made sense to try with a fresh bit. Massimino then asked: "Do we have a plan if the new bit doesn't work? Can we try keeping the handrail on or something? Or... I don't know.""We're looking at other options as well," Burbank said. "We still think a fresh bit with sharper edges might have a chance of biting. So that's still our inclination and we're working on plan C, I guess."With crewmate Michael "Bueno" Good remaining in place on the end of the shuttle Atlantis' robot arm, Massimino made his way to a payload bay tool box and retrieved a bit caddy. He then swapped out the bits on his power tool and got in place for another attempt."OK, Mass, the key is don't wiggle the bit around, try to get it straight and keep it straight and nice, slow torque build up," Feustel advised."You probably need to push pretty hard to engage it as well, that'll help put a little extra friction on that," Burbank called.Massimino tried again."It ain't turning," he said."So it's just spinning in the bit?" Feustel asked."Yeah. I'll try again. Mike, you want to get behind me? And I'll push as hard as I can again.""And Mass, for this time, try to see if you can see the hex alignment, try to get it lined up and push before you pull," Feustel said. "It may be only the outer portion of the hex is worn away and the inner portion is still partially intact.""I'm trying, Drew. Lemme see... I'm trying all those things. Let's try again. Ready Mike?""Yep."Straining to push the drill bit into the Torx head, Massimino grunted as he tried to force the bit in hard enough to engage. But the bolt refused to budge."What was plan C?" Massimino asked.The astronauts then began collecting tools for an attempt to remove bolts at the base of the handrail stanchions in a bit to work around the problem.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 4 VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 7 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:REPAIR OF ADVANCED CAMERA FOR SURVEYS FINISHED VIDEO:WATCH AS GRUNSFELD REPAIRS HUBBLE CAMERA VIDEO:COSTAR STOWED IN ATLANTIS' PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:UMBILICALS HOOKED UP TO NEW INSTRUMENT VIDEO:COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH INSTALLED VIDEO:SPECTROGRAPH PREPPED IN LAUNCH CARRIER VIDEO:COSTAR OPTICS PACKAGE REMOVED FROM HUBBLE VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS OPEN SHROUD DOORS ON TELESCOPE VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 6 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER VIDEO:FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SPARE GYRO UNIT INSTALLED INTO THIRD POSITION VIDEO:ANOTHER GYROSCOPE UNIT PUT INTO SECOND SLOT VIDEO:TROUBLE INSTALLING SECOND GYROSCOPE PACKAGE VIDEO:REMOVAL OF SECOND GYROSCOPE PACKAGE FROM HUBBLE VIDEO:INSTALLATION OF FIRST GYROSCOPE INTO HUBBLE VIDEO:REMOVAL OF FIRST GYROSCOPE PACKAGE FROM HUBBLE VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 5 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER VIDEO:THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SOFT CAPTURE MECHANISM PUT ON HUBBLE VIDEO:SCIENCE INSTRUMENT COMMAND & DATA HANDLING UNIT VIDEO:PARTIALLY FAILED SIC&DH UNIT REMOVED FROM HST VIDEO:WFPC2 CAMERA STOWED IN ATLANTIS FOR RETURN VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 INSTRUMENT VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS INSTALL THE WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 VIDEO:NEW WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 PREPPED FOR INSTALLATION VIDEO:16-YEAR-OLD WFPC2 CAMERA REMOVED FROM HUBBLE VIDEO:LATCHING BOLT ON WPFC2 FINALLY RELEASED VIDEO:FIGHTING WITH TROUBLESOME BOLT ON WPFC2 VIDEO:FEUSTEL INSTALLS HANDLE ONTO WPFC2 FOR REMOVAL VIDEO:HANDLING FIXTURE DEPLOYED TO HOLD OLD CAMERA VIDEO:GRUNSFELD INSTALLS SUPPORT POSTS UNDER HST VIDEO:FEUSTEL OPENS LATCHES ON INSTRUMENT CARRIER VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS EXIT AIRLOCK TO START EVA NO. 1 VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER VIDEO:WEDNESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF MOVING HUBBLE INTO PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:SHUTTLE ATLANTIS' ROBOT ARM CAPTURES HUBBLE VIDEO:FIRST UP CLOSE VIEWS OF HUBBLE IN 7 YEARS VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENGINE FIRING TO CIRCULARIZE ORBIT VIDEO:INSIGHTFUL OVERVIEW OF ATLANTIS' MISSION VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HUBBLE RENDEZVOUS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER VIDEO:TUESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:SLOW-MOTION OF DEBRIS THAT APPARENTLY HIT TILES VIDEO:TILE DAMAGE FOUND DURING INSPECTIONS VIDEO:CAPCOM CALLS CREW ABOUT MINOR DAMAGE VIDEO:TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:THE FULL STS-125 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF FUEL TANK AFTER JETTISON VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 VIDEO:SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF! 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