Readying Discovery for Its Mission
In this 1999 photograph, Ken Strite, NASA Quality Control, inspected the connection between Space Shuttle Discovery and the external tank that was used to launch mission STS-103. This 10-day mission replaced aging parts on the nine-year-old Hubble Space Telescope and upgraded some of its systems. During the flight, the crew replaced all of the observatory's gyroscopes, a fine guidance sensor, its main computer and other equipment.
On Dec. 7, 2006, the crew of Discovery is scheduled to launch on a mission to the International Space Station.
One final house call to the Hubble Space Telescope is scheduled for 2008. The mission will extend and improve the observatory's capabilities through 2013.
Image credit: NASA