5 p.m. CDT Thursday, May 14, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-125 MCC Status Report #07
The Hubble Space Telescope can now see farther into space and across a wider spectrum of colors, thanks to the work done during the first spacewalk of the STS-125 mission.

Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel spent 7 hours and 20 minutes in space shuttle Atlantis’ cargo bay, installing the new Wide Field Camera 3 and replacing the telescope’s Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit, or SIC&DH.

The new camera will allow Hubble to take large-scale, extremely clear and detailed photos over a wider range of colors than the camera they removed. After it was installed, ground controllers at the Space Telescope Operations Control Center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland confirmed that WFC3 was receiving power as expected.

The SIC&DH is a computer that sends commands to Hubble’s science instruments and formats science data for transmission to the ground. One side of the previous SIC&DH failed in September just before STS-125 was originally scheduled to launch. The mission was postponed to give teams on the ground time to prepare a replacement and train the crew for the task. Though the telescope was able to continue, this replacement restored redundancy.

Grunsfeld also installed a mechanism that will allow future spacecraft to capture the telescope, and Feustel installed two of three Latch Over Center Kits, or LOCK, that will make opening and closing Hubble’s large access doors easier on the remaining spacewalks. An aft shroud latch repair was installed on the middle LOCK.

Before coming in, the spacewalkers configured a platform they installed on the shuttle’s robotic arm to clear the view for a Friday inspection of some shuttle heat shield tiles using the orbiter boom sensor system. The teams on the ground weren’t able to get a full view of the tiles during Tuesday’s inspection. The crew will perform that inspection before Friday’s spacewalk begins.

The crew will enter its sleep period at 7:31 p.m. and will awake at 3:31 a.m. to begin preparations for the second spacewalk of the mission, scheduled to begin at 7:16 a.m. The next status report will be issued at the end of the crew’s day or earlier if events warrant.

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