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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 Mission Index

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Video archive

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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Hubble scientist airs opinions on future space plans
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: May 19, 2009

With the space shuttle facing retirement next year after eight more flights - and with the program basking in the success of its fifth and final mission to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope - one of the observatory's senior scientists Tuesday lamented the loss of the winged orbiters in favor of new, less capable rockets.

 
Credit: NASA TV
 
David Leckrone, answering questions at a space shuttle mission status briefing following the release of the Hubble Space Telescope from shuttle Atlantis, criticized the agency's post-shuttle Constellation program and what he said was a lack of leadership and innovation.

Asked about lessons learned from the Hubble-shuttle partnership and the value of being able to service payloads in orbit, Leckrone said "I'm not going to be around all that much longer, I've had a very long career at NASA so I think I can speak fairly bluntly."

"I think the ability of space-suited human beings, seven of them, flying in a spaceship carrying a very, very heavy cargo, 20,000, 30,000 pounds, to low-Earth orbit, to then be able to go out in spacesuits and perform extraordinarily intricate operations ... and do it successfully, I think that is one of the most remarkable achievements that NASA has ever done," he said.

"And it just makes me want to cry to think that this is the end of it. There is no person out there, no leadership out there, there's no vision out there to pick up the baton that we're about to hand off and carry it forward. And I think that's just a shame, to abandon one of the most impressive, refined, sophisticated capabilities that this agency as a whole, human side and robotics side, has achieved."

Leckrone, senior Hubble project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said giving up the space shuttle represents a "long-term loss of hard-won capability and costly capability."

"If there's a future for this agency, it's got to be in an innovative direction like that," he said. "We can't just keep doing the same old thing year after year. It's just not as productive as it could be otherwise. So, that's my piece. And I'm sticking with it."

NASA is in the process of completing the International Space Station before retiring the shuttle next year. The agency's Constellation program calls for building new Ares 1 rockets and Orion crew capsules to boost astronauts to low-Earth orbit starting in 2015. A new heavy lift unmanned rocket called Ares 5 is intended to boost Orion capsules and lunar landers to the moon starting around 2020.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration set up an independent panel to review NASA's manned space flight options, including Constellation and alternative architectures.

Leckrone said he worried that the Constellation program, facing tight budgets and demanding technical challenges, is "just plowing ahead, producing what they're able to produce within all the constraints."

"And my question is, OK, once you've produced it what do you do with it?" Leckrone said. "This is the way to keep human spaceflight alive, but what are the people going to be doing, except going back and forth to the space station? Which is a wonderful thing to do, and I hope the space station becomes extraordinarily, scientifically productive, but it is not today."

He said if the Constellation program "doesn't begin talking to their potential customer base, they're going to end up with something that no one is interested in using."

Leckrone said Constellation managers have not sought input from the science community in the design of the new rockets like the shuttle program enjoyed during its initial development.

"I don't see any similar activity going on in the Constellation program, where they're actively engaging their potential user base to get requirements that should go into their basic design," Leckrone said. "End of story."

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: HST SCIENTIST CRITICIZES SHUTTLE RETIREMENT PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE DEPLOYED FROM THE SPACE SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER SCOTT ALTMAN'S COMMENTS AFTER DEPLOY PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE IS HOISTED OUT OF THE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS' ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES THE TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF HST DEPLOY AND ATLANTIS INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE'S HIGH-GAIN ANTENNA BOOMS UNFOLDED PLAY
VIDEO: COVER PUT ON HUBBLE ANTENNA AS EVA CONCLUDES PLAY
VIDEO: REFLECTING ON THE MISSION AS SPACEWALK NEARS END PLAY
VIDEO: SHEET OF THERMAL COVERING ADDED TO BAY 7 DOOR PLAY
VIDEO: NEW THERMAL SHIELDING PANEL PUT ON BAY 8 DOOR PLAY
VIDEO: DEGRADED THERMAL BLANKET PEELED OFF BAY 5 DOOR PLAY
VIDEO: THE OLD FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR STOWED FOR LANDING PLAY
VIDEO: UPGRADED FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR INSTALLED IN HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: OLD FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR REMOVED FROM TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS STRUGGLE WITH BOLTS AND LATCHES PLAY
VIDEO: REPLACEMENT OF HUBBLE'S 19-YEAR-OLD BATTERIES PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS EMERGE FROM AIRLOCK TO START EVA PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 5 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE TELESCOPE IMAGING SPECTROGRAPH WORK DONE PLAY
VIDEO: OPENING COVER ON THE ELECTRONICS MODULE ON STIS PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER MIKE MASSIMINO REMOVES TINY SCREWS PLAY
VIDEO: TRIP FROM AIRLOCK BACK WITH SPARE POWER TOOL PLAY
VIDEO: CAPTURE PLATE MOUNTED ONTO STIS POWER MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: MASSIMINO FIGHTS WITH STUCK BOLT ON HANDRAIL PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS GET ORGANIZED FOR STIS REPAIR PLAY
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 NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER 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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