STS-103: We made it in 1999!
...successful launch on 12/19/99 to repair the hubble space telescope...
(details on STS-103)  (official NASA press release)


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The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in April of 1990. (See my cosmic photograph collection, most of which are from Hubble, and my space shuttle photo collection.) Since that time, it received a first servicing visit from Space Shuttle astronauts in December 1993 to fix optical errors, a second visit in Feb. 1997 (see official press release, and my collection of STS-82 photos) for maintenance and upgrades, and now a third visit to replace all six gyroscopes (spinning mechanisms which provide stabilization and allow precise positioning -- four of which had failed by mid-November, disabling the telescope until it could be repaired).

Scheduled for this mission (see the Spaceflight website, the official status and full briefing) was also replacement of: guidance sensor (478 lbs!), transmitter, recorder, battery temperature/voltage improvement kit, and the telescope's computer (70.5 pounds, 18.8 x 18 x 13 inches, 20 times faster with 6 times the memory capacity of the original). For more photographs, see the Spaceflight gallery. For an amazing journal of the actual space walks and repair operations, read the first-hand notes written by astronauts John Grunsfeld and Jean-Francois Clervoy.

 

  

 

   

Favorite web links related to Shuttle (STS) and Hubble (HST):

  • http://hubble.gsfc.nasa.gov/
  • http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/
  • http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/
  • http://www.stsci.edu/
  • http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/
  • http://www.nasa.gov/cool.html
  • http://www.seds.org/hst/
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     This page created 12/24/1999. Modified 12/28/99. Visits (approximately):