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Friday, May 15, 2009

Hubble Gyros and Batteries Changed

Atlantis astronauts Mike Good and Mike Massimino conducted a second two-man spacewalk Friday to continue the repairs of the Hubble Space Telescope by changing the failed gyroscopes as the highest technical priority to ensure opeartional success of the observatory in years to come. The gyroscopes which, like a compass, always point in the same direction enabling the telescope stable operations and images [NASA-TV].

In the second of five planned spacewalks to make the telescope fixes, changing the gyroscopes that keep the telescope fixed on deep space targets for images, astronauts worked an additional hour getting all six replaced. While new gyroscopes were a little pesky in fitting into the spots delaying the spacewalk, the astronauts changed one of two of the telescopes battery packs used to store solar-electric power generated while the telescope is in sunlight. In all, the spacewalk lasted some 8-hours, about 1.5 hours longer than planned.

On Saturday, spacewalkers John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel will attempt two tasks vital to astronomers. They will remove the old COSTAR apparatus installed in 1993 to correct for flaws in Hubble's main mirror. (All new instruments have the correction built into their optics.) COSTAR will be replaced by the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph during a Sunday spacewalk. Function testing following repair of the telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, parts of which broke down in 2007, are now underway as of Saturday evening. A more complete SATURDAY UPDATE HERE.

1 comment:

Minor said...

Mike Good and Mike Massimino you are doing a great job. Good luck.word processing