A butter cookie for good luck

"Putting on the EVA spacesuit always reminds me of the feeling I had when my mother dressed me in a very heavy snowsuit. In this case, your shipmates bundle you up. They stuff you in the spacesuit, often with a pat on the back and a butter cookie in the mouth for good luck. Then they put the helmet over your head, snap it into place at the neck ring, and from that moment on you float in the suit, your toes gently touching the boots, your head occasionally bobbing up against the helmet. You are now floating in a space-age cocoon.''42

Fortunately, the rogue satellites were of the same design, so the retrieval and recovery hardware could work on both. As neither was designed for retrieval, new equipment had to be designed to capture and restrain the satellites. The apogee kick motors were still attached, so a capture device called a "stinger" (due to its resemblance to an insect sting) was devised that would attach to the front of the MMU and could be inserted into the kick motor engine bell. This would secure the satellites and allow them to be manoeuvred back into the Shuttle's payload bay. There, they would be locked into place using an A-frame device for the return to Earth. By closing the grapple ring on the "stinger", the astronaut flying the MMU would "dock to the satellite'' to steady its rotational rate. The MMU would then be used to bring the satellite close to the RMS, which would grapple a feature on the side of the stinger. The second astronaut was then supposed to attach a bracket to the top of the satellite so that the RMS grapple could adjust its grip location and the MMU pilot could withdraw, prior to the satellite being lowered into the payload bay.

Both stingers worked as designed, but the dimensions of the common clamp of the bracket were slightly different to those ofthe retention rings on the satellite, necessitating a change of plan. In developing the original plan, the astronauts and EVA trainers had devised a contingency in the event of the RMS being unable to grapple the satellites properly. In this case, the RMS would remain attached to the stinger grapple, holding onto the satellite while the MMU pilot disengaged from the stinger, stowed the MMU and translated to a portable foot restraint. He would then grab hold of the still-folded main antenna to hold the satellite steady in turn while the RMS was disengaged and the second astronaut manually attached the A-frame to the floor of the payload bay. This was the method used on the actual task. Joe Allen flew the MMU to capture the first satellite while Dale Gardner flew the unit to retrieve the second. Their experiences added a significant understanding of extended EVA servicing operations and procedures that were subsequently adapted for other EVA operations from the Shuttle. 43

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