HOUSTON -- Spacewalkers couldn't dislodge a balky bolt with their special tools. So they went with something fellow earthlings can understand: elbow grease.
When the expensive tools couldn't remove the stripped-out bolt, Mission Control in Houston told Atlantis astronaut Michael Massimino to yank it out of the way.
Engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland quickly tested the procedure on a mock-up and found that 60 pounds of pressure were needed on the pull 350 miles above Earth.
Astronauts were careful to tape pieces so they wouldn't fly away and become potential missiles.
While Atlantis was out of video contact, controllers in Houston could only listen as Massimino took a breath and pulled.
After a second of silence, Massimino calmly said: "disposal bag, please."
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.