What do you do when the Hubble Space Telescope is down for repairs? If you're NASA, you call in the best--a crack team of skilled, highly trained astronauts and mechanical engineers. 

But what NASA never mentioned was that its chief mechanic on one of these repair missions interned under two very dubious Massachusetts grease monkeys - namely, Tom and Ray. No kidding!

Just what did STS-67 Mission Specialist John Grunsfeld learn from Tom and Ray? 

>> Hear Tom and Ray speculate about Grunsfeld's role in the repairs.

>> Are Tom and Ray's mildly slanderous comments accurate?
Grunsfeld says "more or less."

>> Point-Counterpoint: Grunsfeld v. Magliozzis

>> Photos of John's mission

>> Discuss

>> Check out this very cool explanation of the mission.

This isn't the first time Tom and Ray have heard from John Grunsfeld. There was that time he called the show to get Tom and Ray's opinion on a problem he's been having with one of his newer vehicles. Hear it here.

Photos courtesy of NASA



Ray: John was a former customer of ours at the garage.

John: While a student at MIT (small technical school in Cambridge), I used to get help from Tom and Ray on my 1966 Sunbeam Alpine, on which all the bolts were stuck.


Ray: They were using a set of precision, million-dollar NASA instruments to remove one bolt.

John: On this space flight we had over 100 customized precision tools to fix the Hubble, and a few automotive tools.


Ray: I know it had to be Grunsfeld who gave the orders to whack the bejeebers out of it!

John: Our cardinal rule is "don't break the Hubble," so we were pretty hesitant to whack it.



Tom: He probably said, "Here! Whack it with this space hammer!"

John: We do carry a soft blow hammer, but didn't get that far, as elbow grease and more force worked.


Tom: I'm sure John learned that from us.

John: I did learn that from Tom and Ray, and it usually ended up poorly for the Sunbeam, so I didn't want to try it on the Telescope.


Ray: He kicked the Hubble's antenna, broke it in half, and sent it into outer space! It's the golden rule of repair: When you fix something, break something else.

John: That antenna had been the nemesis of crews since the beginning of the Hubble. I just took care of it once and for all. It turns out Hubble is doing better with the temp cover installed. Go figure.


Ray: You watch! They'll be calling John next month to fix the antenna.

John: Of course I did leave a certain wrench inside and only I know where it is, so if something needs fixing they'll have to send me back.