4 p.m. CDT Saturday, May 16, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-125 MCC Status Report #11
Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel completed the third spacewalk of Atlantis’ mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in 6 hours, 36 minutes, stepping smoothly through the difficult tasks of repairing a delicate camera and installing its most sensitive spectrograph ever.
Grunsfeld and Feustel began the spacewalk at 8:35 a.m., removing the telescope’s 16-year-old “contact lens,” the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR), and safely tucked it into the shuttle’s payload bay. The two then installed the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), which will allow Hubble to peer farther into the universe than ever before in the near and far ultraviolet ranges.
Then, Grunsfeld and Feustel used specially designed tools to carry out a job never intended to be done on a spacewalk, repairing the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The camera, known for some of the most famous imagery captured by Hubble, had stopped working in early 2007 when its backup power supply short circuited. The two removed 32 screws from an access panel to efficiently replace the camera’s four circuit boards and install a new power supply.
In a test conducted from the Space Telescope Operations Control Center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., engineers powered up the 851-pound COS to make sure its power and data connection were operating. While the astronauts sleep, the team will conduct additional functional tests on each component to determine if the astronauts will need to perform additional work. The COS will be calibrated over the next several weeks.
The spacewalk was the 80th in space shuttle history. Grunsfeld now ranks fourth among all spacewalkers, with 51 hours, 28 minutes to his credit over seven excursions.
Tomorrow, astronauts Michael Good and Mike Massimino will repair the Space Telescope Imaging and Spectrograph (STIS) and install the New Outer Blanket Layer (NOBL).
The crew’s sleep period will begin at 8:31 p.m. and crew wake will be at 4:31 a.m. tomorrow. The next status report will be issued tomorrow morning or earlier, if events warrant.
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