Image above: In this photograph, all four Shuttle carrier systems are shown in the PGHM as they were being installed into the Cargo Bay. Credit: NASA > View Larger Image
October 3, 2008
Plans to Remove Hubble Payload from Atlantis Late Next Week
On September 25, 2008, SM4’s payload was loaded into the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Pad 39A. The payload is transported to the launch pad in the payload Canister, which is lifted up to the Payload Changeout Room (PCR). From there, the Payload Ground Handling Mechanism, or PGHM (pronounced “Pig M”) transfers the payload from the canister to the Shuttle’s Cargo Bay.
Unfortunately, the Hubble Space Telescope spacecraft suffered a hardware failure in the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SIC&DH) module during the weekend of September 27-28, causing NASA to delay the STS-125 mission to early next year. Next week, the payload installation procedure will be reversed and Hubble’s payload will be taken back to the Payload Hazardous System Facility (PHSF) for safe-keeping until the STS-125 Shuttle processing is turned back on.
Meanwhile, engineers at Goddard are preparing to run a Flight Acceptance Test next week on the Vehicle Electrical System test (VEST) Facility of the procedures to switch the Hubble spacecraft to the redundant “B” side.