When space shuttle Atlantis blasts off on the final flight to Hubble, the astronauts will be carrying 180 special tools, and 116 of them were designed just for this mission, which involves tricky repairs to two science instruments that were never intended to be fixed in space.
1. (left) The EVA pistol grip tool is a high-torque, low-speed, microprocessor-controlled power tool used by spacewalking astronauts. It greatly reduces hand fatigue while astronauts work in pressurized spacesuits and helps reduce the amount of time it takes to loosen and tighten fasteners. (right) The washer extraction tool is used by spacewalking astronauts to secure washers that would otherwise float away in space.
2. This is a high-speed, low-torque power tool designed to help astronauts quickly remove the large number of screws during the repair tasks.
3. The EVA mini-workstation mounts to the front chest of an astronaut’s spacesuit and holds equipment needed during spacewalks.