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The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-125
Payload: HST SM-4
Launch: May 11, 2009
Time: 2:01 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: May 24 @ 11:39 a.m. EDT
Site: Edwards Air Force Base, California

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STS-125 Video Coverage

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STS-125: The mission

A detailed step-by-step preview of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to extend the life and vision of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: The EVAs

The lead spacewalk officer provides indepth explanations of the five EVAs to service Hubble during Atlantis' flight.

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STS-125: The crew

The seven shuttle Atlantis astronauts hold a press conference one month before their planned launch to Hubble.

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STS-125: NASA leaders

The leaders of NASA's Space Operations and Science directorates give their insights into the upcoming shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: Shuttle boss

The head of NASA's space shuttle program discusses the risks and plans for Atlantis' trek to Hubble.

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The Hubble program

An overview of the Hubble Space Telescope program and the planning that has gone into the final servicing mission.

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Hubble's future science

The new instruments to be installed into Hubble and the future science objectives for the observatory are previewed.

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Meet the Hubble crew

Meet the crew launching on Atlantis' STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope and learn how each became an astronaut in this special biography movie.

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Repaired spectrograph passes 'aliveness' test
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: May 17, 2009

Held up by a stripped screw, spacewalker Michael Massimino applied brute force muscle power to an otherwise delicate operation, breaking off an offending handrail and then carefully unscrewing more than 100 small fasteners to get inside a dead science instrument aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

After pulling out a blown power supply circuit board, Massimino and crewmate Michael "Bueno" Good carefully installed a replacement card, closed the instrument up and began collecting tools and equipment while engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center sent commands to verify electrical connectivity in a quick-look "aliveness" test.


A helmet-mounted camera shows astronauts Mike Massimino removing the STIS electronics box cover to reveal the internal circuit cards (right). Credit: NASA TV
 
"Atlantis, Houston, with a bit of news from the STOCC (Space Telescope Operations Control Center) if you're ready," astronaut Dan Burbank radioed around 5 p.m.

"We are definitely ready," astronomer-astronaut John Grunsfeld replied from Atlantis.

"We're all happy to report that STIS has come back with a good aliveness test."

Amid cheers from space, Massimino laughed and said, "that sounds great. Thanks so much, Dan."

The goal of the operation was to restore one of two redundant channels in the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, a state-of-the-art instrument that broke down in 2004 when its low-voltage power supply failed. A successful repair today would potentially give Hubble scientists five operational science instruments for the first time in the telescope's 19-year history.

During the first of the Atlantis astronauts' five planned spacewalks, the powerful new Wide Field Camera 3 was installed, along with a replacement science data computer. On Friday, six new stabilizing gyroscopes and three fresh nickel-hydrogen batteries were bolted in place. On Saturday, the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph was installed and astronauts John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel successfully repaired the wide-field channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

The ACS and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph were not designed to be repaired in orbit and as such, they represented the greatest technical challenges for the crew. Going into the mission, engineers said they had more confidence in the maturity of the STIS repair plan and warned reporters that the ACS work was much more uncertain.

As it turned out, they were partly wrong and partly right. The ACS repair went much more smoothly than anyone expected and the astronauts successfully revived the heavily used wide-field channel. But they were unable to restore the camera's high-resolution channel to operation.

Conversely, the STIS repair ran into problems right from the start when a stripped screw prevented Massimino from removing a handrail as required before attempting to open the instrument's main electronics box. In the end, flight controllers opted for a brute-force approach, telling Massimino to simply pull the loose end of the handrail away until the stripped screw snapped off.

Running well behind schedule at that point, Massimino and Good then were stymied when a power tool's battery died, forcing the spacewalkers back to the shuttle Atlantis' airlock to retrieve a spare and to top off spacesuit oxygen supplies.

"Oh, for Pete's sake," Massimino muttered in frustration.

Finally, the astronauts installed a so-called fastener-capture plate and unscrewed 111 small fasteners, trapping the screws and washers between the electronics box cover and capture plates. The cover-capture plate combination then was pulled away, exposing the blown power supply card to view. Using a custom tool to avoid handing the fragile boards, Massimino and Good promptly swapped them out. The electronics box was sealed with a different cover plate, one requiring just two locking pins.

With two operational cameras, two complementary spectrographs and a soon-to-be-reactivated infrared camera known as NICMOS, Hubble is more scientifically powerful now than at any time in its history.

But the astronauts are not yet done with this fifth and final servicing mission. During a final spacewalk Monday, Grunsfeld and Feustel plan to install a final three batteries and a refurbished fine guidance sensor, along with news insulation panels to strengthen areas weakened by Hubble's 19 years in the harsh environment of space.

Massimino and Good had planned to install one such panel today, but that task was deferred when the STIS repair ran long.

"Mass and Bueno, while you're closing the doors (I wanted to tell you) what a great job you did today and how proud we are of you," Atlantis commander Scott Altman called as the spacewalkers were closing the STIS equipment bay. "And also, I want you to take a look around because your spacewalk with Hubble is about to come to an end. We're bringing you in as soon as you close the doors."

"Thanks Scooter," Massimino replied. "The view is magnificent, it's great to work with the world going by and being out here with a good friend, Mike Good, is a pleasure."

"Those are good words, Mass," Good said. "It's really awesome to be out here. ... A lot of work, but well worth it."

Massimino summed up the spacewalkers' feelings, saying "it's a real privilege to get to see what we're seeing and get to work on this magnificent machine. I couldn't be any more grateful for the opportunity."

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 4 PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 7 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: REPAIR OF ADVANCED CAMERA FOR SURVEYS FINISHED PLAY
VIDEO: WATCH AS GRUNSFELD REPAIRS HUBBLE CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: COSTAR STOWED IN ATLANTIS' PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: UMBILICALS HOOKED UP TO NEW INSTRUMENT PLAY
VIDEO: COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: SPECTROGRAPH PREPPED IN LAUNCH CARRIER PLAY
VIDEO: COSTAR OPTICS PACKAGE REMOVED FROM HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS OPEN SHROUD DOORS ON TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 6 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SPARE GYRO UNIT INSTALLED INTO THIRD POSITION PLAY
VIDEO: ANOTHER GYROSCOPE UNIT PUT INTO SECOND SLOT PLAY
VIDEO: TROUBLE INSTALLING SECOND GYROSCOPE PACKAGE PLAY
VIDEO: REMOVAL OF SECOND GYROSCOPE PACKAGE FROM HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: INSTALLATION OF FIRST GYROSCOPE INTO HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: REMOVAL OF FIRST GYROSCOPE PACKAGE FROM HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S PREVIEW OF MISSION'S DAY 5 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SOFT CAPTURE MECHANISM PUT ON HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: SCIENCE INSTRUMENT COMMAND & DATA HANDLING UNIT PLAY
VIDEO: PARTIALLY FAILED SIC&DH UNIT REMOVED FROM HST PLAY
VIDEO: WFPC2 CAMERA STOWED IN ATLANTIS FOR RETURN PLAY
VIDEO: OVERVIEW OF WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 INSTRUMENT PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS INSTALL THE WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 PLAY
VIDEO: NEW WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 PREPPED FOR INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: 16-YEAR-OLD WFPC2 CAMERA REMOVED FROM HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: LATCHING BOLT ON WPFC2 FINALLY RELEASED PLAY
VIDEO: FIGHTING WITH TROUBLESOME BOLT ON WPFC2 PLAY
VIDEO: FEUSTEL INSTALLS HANDLE ONTO WPFC2 FOR REMOVAL PLAY
VIDEO: HANDLING FIXTURE DEPLOYED TO HOLD OLD CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: GRUNSFELD INSTALLS SUPPORT POSTS UNDER HST PLAY
VIDEO: FEUSTEL OPENS LATCHES ON INSTRUMENT CARRIER PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS EXIT AIRLOCK TO START EVA NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF MOVING HUBBLE INTO PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS' ROBOT ARM CAPTURES HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST UP CLOSE VIEWS OF HUBBLE IN 7 YEARS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ENGINE FIRING TO CIRCULARIZE ORBIT PLAY
VIDEO: INSIGHTFUL OVERVIEW OF ATLANTIS' MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HUBBLE RENDEZVOUS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SLOW-MOTION OF DEBRIS THAT APPARENTLY HIT TILES PLAY
VIDEO: TILE DAMAGE FOUND DURING INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: CAPCOM CALLS CREW ABOUT MINOR DAMAGE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-125 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: FOOTAGE OF FUEL TANK AFTER JETTISON PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY

VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: STS-125 POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF DAY 1 INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FINAL PRE-LAUNCH READINESS POLLS CONDUCTED PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S CREW MODULE HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST MEGAN MCARTHUR BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT GREG JOHNSON BOARDS ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST JOHN GRUNSFELD BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE COMMANDER SCOTT ALTMAN BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF LAUNCH PAD GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY

VIDEO: HUBBLE'S FUTURE AFTER ATLANTIS SERVICING PLAY
VIDEO: TOP DISCOVERIES MADE BY HUBBLE TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: THE ROLLERCOASTER LIFE OF HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: WHAT IS HUBBLE'S PLACE IN HISTORY? PLAY
VIDEO: ENTERTAINING LOOK AT ATLANTIS' CREW PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE HISTORY MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: A TRIBUTE TO THE CAMERA THAT SAVED HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE TELESCOPE PROGRAM BRIEFING FROM SUNDAY PLAY

VIDEO: SUNDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-125 PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT THE CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: NEWS BRIEFING FOLLOWING FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: THE STS-125 MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: THE SEVEN ASTRONAUTS PLAY

VIDEO: BIOGRAPHY MOVIE OF ATLANTIS' CREW PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER SCOTT ALTMAN PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT GREG JOHNSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 MIKE GOOD PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 MEGAN MCARTHUR PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 JOHN GRUNSFELD PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 MIKE MASSIMINO PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS5 DREW FEUSTEL PLAY | '09 UPDATE

VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: THE SUN RISES ON ATLANTIS DURING ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS EMERGES FROM ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORBITER VERTICAL FOR MATING TO FUEL TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS MOVES BACK TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ATLANTIS LEAVES LAUNCH PAD 39A IN OCT. PLAY
VIDEO: TIMELAPSE OF THE ROLLBACK GETTING UNDERWAY PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS REHEARSE QUICK SHUTTLE EXIT PLAY
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS ATLANTIS FOR MOCK COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SUITS FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S TRAINING ON ESCAPE BASKETS AND BUNKER PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH PRESS AT LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: CREW TEST DRIVES EMERGENCY PAD ESCAPE VEHICLE PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER AND PILOT PRACTICE LANDING APPROACHES PLAY
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES AT CAPE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: COMMENTS FROM COMMANDER AFTER ARRIVING PLAY

VIDEO: AERIAL VIEWS OF ATLANTIS AND ENDEAVOUR PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE STS-125 MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE FIVE SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE SEVEN ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: NASA LEADERSHIP PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: SHUTTLE PROGRAM BOSS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: HUBBLE OVERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: HUBBLE SCIENCE PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE ARRIVES ATOP PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS EMERGES FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ATLANTIS' ROLLOUT TO LAUNCH PAD PLAY

VIDEO: ATLANTIS ROLLS FROM HANGAR TO VAB PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS LIFTED INTO PLACE FOR ATTACHMENT PLAY
MORE: STS-125 VIDEO COVERAGE
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