Astronauts take fifth spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope
News story originally written on February 18, 1997
Astronauts Mark Lee and Steve Smith of the space shuttle Discovery completed their fifth and last spacewalk in the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope. The spacewalk lasted 5 hours, 17 minutes. Now that the spacewalks are complete, the next step is to redeploy the telescope back into its initial orbit. The Hubble Space Telescope was initially placed into Discovery's payload bay so that repairs could be made.
The Space Shuttle Discovery mission began with liftoff on February 11, 1997, at 3:55 am. The ten-day mission consists of making significant repairs and improvements to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). These repairs are expected to improve the science capabilities of the HST.
Two old instruments are to be replaced. The instruments being removed include the Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer and the Faint Object Spectrograph. Their replacements will be the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer.
HST will also receive upgrades to its Fine Guidance Sensor and its data recorder. The Fine Guidance Sensor is an optical device that provides pointing information for the HST. The current data recorder which consists of reel-to-reel tape will be replaced by a Solid State recorder which holds ten times as much information. In addition, one of Hubble's four Reaction Wheel Assemblies (RWA) will be replaced. The RWA is a major component of Hubble's positioning system.
The Discovery Space Shuttle crew consists of the following: commander Ken Bowersox, pilot Scott Horowitz, Joe Tanner, Steve Hawley, Greg Harbaugh, Mark Lee, and Steve Smith.