NASA Astronauts Start Repairs on Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope, now 19 years old, began the first of its repairs and maintenance by astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis. Yesterday, on May 13th, space shuttle Atlantis approached Hubble Telescope and carefully docked with it using the shuttle’s robotic arm. This mission, STS-125, is the final repair mission for the Hubble Space Telescope from a Space Shuttle.


NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches on its mission to repair and replace parts of the Hubble Space Telescope. Image:NASA

NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches on its mission to repair and replace parts of the Hubble Space Telescope. Image:NASA

Today’s nearly seven-hour spacewalk included the delicate replacement of Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The new wide-field camera will allow Hubble to take larger, clearer, and more detailed images over a wider range of colors, than the previous wide-field camera did.

Crew from Atlantis carefully docked to the Hubble Space Telescope via the shuttle's robotic arm on Wednesday. A series of spacewalks are planned to repair and renew the aging telescope. Image:NASA

Crew from Atlantis carefully docked to the Hubble Space Telescope via the shuttle's robotic arm on Wednesday. A series of spacewalks are planned to repair and renew the aging telescope. Image: NASA

Other objectives include replacement of the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit, the computer which helps send scientific data back to NASA, and the installation of three latch-over-center doors, which will aid the spacewalks taking place throughout the next several days.

Hubble's replacement parts. Bottom is the Data Handling Unit, Top is the Wide Field Planetary Camera 3. Image: NASA

Hubble's replacement parts. Bottom is the Data Handling Unit, Top is the Wide Field Planetary Camera 3. Image:NASA

According to NASA, the STS-125 Mission Priorities are as follows:

  • 1. Three Rate Sensor Unit (gyroscope) removal and replacement

  • 2. Wide Field Camera 3 installed in place of Wide Field Planetary Camera 2

  • 3. Science Instrument Command & Data Handling System swap out

  • 4. Cosmic Origins Spectrograph installation

  • 5. Battery Module replacement installation (Bays 2 and 3)

  • 6. Fine Guidance Sensor 2 removal and replacement

  • 7. Remaining instrument repair

  • 8. Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph power supply system repair, or restore power supply for the Advanced Camera for Surveys *

  • 9. New Outer Blanket Layer installation (Bays 8, 5 & 7)

  • 10. Soft Capture Mechanism installation

  • 11. Reboost Hubble Space Telescope altitude

  • * Choice of first instrument repair will be prioritized based on spacewalk efficiency and mission replanning scenarios

Mission STS-125

3 responses to “NASA Astronauts Start Repairs on Hubble Space Telescope”

  1. AndrewBoldman

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

  2. asytonyaa

    Which is the very good movie in 2009? Please help!Thank you.

  3. Prince

    Great info for scienc freaks like me.

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