posted 05-27-2011 01:36 AM
Here's a commented montage of the Intelsat rescue attempts.
It was a scene straight out of Apollo 13 — astronauts and ground controllers working together to improvise a new plan when Plan A had failed. The task on Endeavour's first flight in May 1992 was to capture the stranded INTELSAT-VI satellite, attach a new rocket motor, and send it to a new orbit. But when early attempts to grab the satellite with a special "capture bar" failed, Pierre Thuot, Rick Hieb and Tom Akers had to go outside and steady the 9,200-pound spacecraft by hand — the first and only three-man spacewalk in shuttle history.