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  STS-125: Preparing Atlantis to service Hubble (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   STS-125: Preparing Atlantis to service Hubble
tegwilym
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posted 09-30-2008 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Total bummer. But I think we are very lucky that it broke now rather than AFTER the last mission up there. We'd be really screwed then.

Imagine if this thing died a week after the last upgrade.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 09-30-2008 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Greg Chamitoff's return will rely on when NASA decides to launch STS-126, but if STS-125 slips to next year as expected, then his trip back to Earth may launch two days early on November 14.
So, there is a possibility that Greg may remain up there shorter (if they decide to launch STS-126 anyway) or longer if it is postponed until the Hubble repair mission flies, as they need STS-400 as rescue, or they fly the STS-126 mission to ISS, then recycle the orbiter to the STS-400 condition for the next Hubble launch window next year -- is that right? Then Ares 1-X!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2008 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by E2M Lem Man:
...as they need STS-400 as rescue, or they fly the STS-126 mission to ISS, then recycle the orbiter to the STS-400 condition for the next Hubble launch window next year
Not exactly; if they decide to launch Endeavour on STS-126 in November, then NASA could choose to use Discovery (being prepared for STS-119) for STS-400, or they could launch STS-119 before STS-125 (if the Hubble program is not ready to fly) and then Endeavour will recycle back to STS-400 before flying STS-127.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-01-2008 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Minor reshuffling of the ISS schedule near as I see it with no major scheduling impact, but work to pad 39B in preparation for Ares 1X will slip as a result of this since another orbiter will have to be placed on 39B for a launch on need mission if the Hubble mission requires it. So the radical changes to pad 39B won't begin until after STS-125 flies anyway.

OV-105
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posted 10-02-2008 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering how much sim time is the crew of STS-400 doing to stay up on things? It must be kinda of hard for them to get sim time when you have the STS-125 crew and then the crew for STS-126.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-03-2008 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update:
Technicians at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will remove the Hubble Space Telescope servicing hardware from the cargo bay of space shuttle Atlantis on Oct. 13 as Atlantis stands on Launch Pad A. The Atlantis mission to service the Hubble has been delayed and Atlantis will be moved back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Oct. 20.

Robert Pearlman
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New Scientist: Hubble replacement part has glitches of its own
Problems with a spare part for the Hubble Space Telescope -- which has been stored for years at a NASA centre -- may further delay a shuttle mission to repair and upgrade the telescope now targeted for launch in February.

...the spare, known as the Science Instrument/Command & Data Handling (SI/C&DH) system, was developed years after Hubble's unit and is not an exact replica of it, says Hubble manager Preston Burch of Goddard.

For example, Hubble's unit stores data using older, "core" memory technology, some types of which are very robust against power failures. The flight spare, however, uses modern CMOS memory, which can be lost when the unit loses power.

The flight spare was tested around the time of the telescope's launch in 1990, and again in 2001, during tests of a cooling unit for the probe's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer. Records show that glitches occurred in the device during those tests, Burch told New Scientist.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA to Provide Update to Hubble Anomaly Status

NASA will host a media teleconference at 12:30 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Oct. 14, to brief reporters about the status of efforts to revive the data handling unit that failed on the Hubble Space Telescope in late-September. The failure halted almost all science operations on the orbiting observatory.

A meeting will be held at NASA Headquarters on Tuesday morning to review plans for transitioning operations to the redundant "B" side of Hubble's data handling unit. This equipment has not been used or tested since Hubble's launch in 1990. If approved, ground controllers could begin the process of sending commands to Hubble as early as Wednesday, Oct. 15, to begin the transition. The process could take as long as 48 hours to complete.

The briefing participants are:

  • Jon Morse, Astrophysics Division director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
  • Art Whipple, manager of the Hubble Space Telescope Systems Management Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA's website.

Robert Pearlman
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SPACE.com: NASA to Begin Hubble Space Telescope Fix
NASA engineers hope to begin reviving the ailing Hubble Space Telescope Wednesday with a days-long switch to a backup system after a hardware failure cut off its ability to transmit images back to Earth last month.

The switch will take at least two days, with engineers working around the clock in Hubble's operations center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to rouse the backup system from nearly two decades of slumber. NASA is confident the fix will resuscitate Hubble's science instruments by Friday, but there is always the chance of an unexpected glitch during the process, Hubble managers said.

"It is obviously a possibility that things will not come up," Art Whipple, chief of NASA's Hubble systems management office at Goddard in Greenbelt, Md., told reporters in a Tuesday teleconference.

But NASA's history of booting up systems in space after years of inactivity is encouraging, and weeks of testing and analysis on Earth show Hubble to be ready for reactivation, he added.

"We have very good confidence that this will work," Whipple said.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Rolls Off Launch Pad Monday

Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, Oct. 20, to await launch on its mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. First motion of the shuttle is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Atlantis' targeted launch on Oct. 10 was delayed when a system that transfers science data from the orbiting observatory to Earth malfunctioned on Sept. 27. The new target launch date is under review.

The fully assembled space shuttle Atlantis, consisting of the orbiter, external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, is mounted on a Mobile Launcher Platform and will be delivered to the Vehicle Assembly Building atop a crawler transporter. The crawler will travel slower than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey, which is expected to take approximately six hours.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Atlantis' rollback beginning Monday at 6:30 a.m.

Robert Pearlman
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Seen here, the canister with the STS-125 payload rolls past the Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Control Center on Wednesday (Oct. 15). The hardware was transported back to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility where it will remain until a new target launch date can be set for Atlantis' mission in 2009.

Robert Pearlman
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Hubble Status Report, October 15, 2008
The Hubble Space Telescope team completed switching the required hardware modules to their B-sides about 9:30 a.m. this morning and received telemetry that verified they had good data. Everything at this point looks good.

The 486 computer on Hubble was reloaded with data around noon and successfully performed a data dump back to the ground to verify all the loads were proper. At 1:10 p.m. this afternoon the team brought Hubble out of safe mode and placed the 486 computer back in control. Late this afternoon, Gyro #4 (which was needed for safe mode) will be turned off.

The team will reconfigure Side B of the Science Instrument Command & Data Handling (SIC&DH) computer later today and verify it is functioning properly.

Around 6 p.m. this evening the spacecraft will begin executing a pre-science command load, which involves sending normal commands to control the spacecraft and resume communications satellite tracking with the HST high gain antennas.

"We won't know if we've been completely successful until around midnight Wednesday when we demonstrate that the SIC&DH Side B is talking to the instruments and able to pass data to the ground," said HST Operations Deputy Project Manager Keith Kalinowski at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Robert Pearlman
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Hubble Status Report, October 16, 2008

During the night of Oct. 15, Space Telescope Operations Control Center engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center turned on and checked out Side 'B' of Hubble's Science Instrument Control and Data Handling (SIC&DH) system.

Subsequently, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) instruments were retrieved from safe mode to establish that each has a working interface to the Side B SIC&DH. The instruments were then commanded back into safe mode, and will remain in that state until the SI C&DH begins issuing commands to them later today.

Around noon today commands to recover Hubble's science instruments from their safe modes will begin and internal exposures and calibrations of the telescope's science instruments will occur before midnight Thursday.

Scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore should complete their review of the internal exposures by noon on Friday, October 17. This procedure involves collecting and comparing baseline exposures previously supported by Side A of the SI C&DH to new exposures supported by Side B. This review will be one last check of the "transparency" (non-impact) of switching to the redundant spacecraft electronics the Hubble team activated on Wednesday.

A full schedule of science observations with the WFPC2 camera, ACS' Solar Blind Channel camera, and the Fine Guidance Sensors will resume early Friday morning.

Robert Pearlman
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Hubble Status Report, October 17, 2008
Hubble Science Operations Deferred While Engineers Examine New Issues

Activation of Hubble Space Telescope science instruments and resumption of science observations has been suspended following two anomalies seen in systems onboard the telescope yesterday.

The first event occurred at approximately 1:40 PM on Thursday when the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) suspended operations due to indication that one power source in the Solar Blind Camera's low voltage power supply failed to turn on. This was the first turn on of the Solar Blind Camera since its last use prior to the safing of HST's NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer, version 1 (NSSC-1) on 9/27. (The NSSC-1 is Hubble's science computer.) The Solar Blind Channel is the only part of ACS in use since a power failure in January 2007 halted most ACS science observations.

An initial status briefing to discuss the ACS issue began at 5 p.m. on Thursday. During the briefing, at 5:14 PM, a still-undiagnosed problem affecting the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SI C&DH) system caused the NSSC-1 to stop issuing its keep-alive signal. The Hubble spacecraft computer (HST486) detected the cessation of the keep-alive signal as a failure of its Processor Interface Table (PIT) toggle test. The absence of the keep-alive signal for twenty seconds told the HST486 to issue commands to safe HST's science computer and science instruments.

The first step taken in investigating the NSSC-1 safing was to collect a memory dump. This dump was success. The data shows that yesterday's anomaly is likely different from the one that occurred on Sept. 27.

Initial indications point to a potential problem in the B-side of the Computer Processing Module (CPM-B). The CPM-B had not been used on orbit prior to Wednesday evening's activation of Side B of the Science Instrument Control & Data Handling (SIC&DH) unit.

The spacecraft computer is continuing to execute command loads sent to it from the Space Telescope Operations Control Center (STOCC) at GSFC, and all of its subsystems are nominal.

The investigation is continuing. Contingency procedures for a potential switch to a hybrid SI C&DH configuration that would use portions of its Side A and portions of its Side B were tested this morning in HST Program's Vehicle Electrical System Test (VEST) Facility, a high fidelity mock-up of Hubble that resides in a cleanroom at Goddard.

NASA managers are expected to meet around 1:30 p.m. today to assess the telescope's current status and discuss future actions.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Updates Time For Space Shuttle Atlantis' Roll From Launch Pad

NASA managers have adjusted the time for space shuttle Atlantis' rollback from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, Oct. 20, to 7 a.m. EDT. Atlantis is expected to be in the Vehicle Assembly Building by about 2 p.m.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Atlantis' move off the pad beginning Monday at 6:30 a.m. Video highlights of the rollback will air on NASA TV Video File.

Robert Pearlman
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Space shuttle Atlantis is inside the protective confines of the Vehicle Assembly Building after being moved from Launch Pad 39A Monday morning. The shuttle will remain assembled for launch position until a new target date is set for its servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

capoetc
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posted 10-21-2008 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The shuttle will remain assembled for launch position until a new target date is set for its servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Is there a limit to how long the shuttle can remain in stacked position before launching?

It would seem that, like an airplane, at some point it becomes a "hangar queen"... things break while the vehicle is just sitting there, and you don't find out until you get airborne.

Just curious.

------------------
John Capobianco
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Ben
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posted 10-21-2008 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are limits, such as how long the proper pressure will remain in the orbiter's tires. Atlantis is going to remain stacked if the target a February launch. If they decide to postpone it until May, they may destack.

There are also lifetimes for keeping the SRBs vertical but it won't be an issue here.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
Hubble Scores a Perfect Ten

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business.

Just a couple of days after the orbiting observatory was brought back online, Hubble aimed its prime working camera, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), at a particularly intriguing target, a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147.

The image demonstrated that the camera is working exactly as it was before going offline, thereby scoring a "perfect 10" both for performance and beauty.

The two galaxies happen to be oriented so that they appear to mark the number 10. The left-most galaxy, or the "one" in this image, is relatively undisturbed apart from a smooth ring of starlight. It appears nearly on edge to our line of sight. The right- most galaxy, resembling a "zero," exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation.

The blue ring was most probably formed after the galaxy on the left passed through the galaxy on the right. Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates an outwardly moving circular wave, a propagating ring of higher density was generated at the point of impact. As this excess density collided with outer material that was moving inward due to the gravitational pull of the two galaxies, shocks and dense gas were produced, stimulating star formation.

The dusty reddish knot at the lower left of the blue ring probably marks the location of the original nucleus of the galaxy that was hit.

Arp 147 appears in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in the 1960s and published in 1966. This picture was assembled from WFPC2 images taken with three separate filters. The blue, visible-light, and infrared filters are represented by the colors blue, green, and red, respectively.

The galaxy pair was photographed on October 27-28, 2008. Arp 147 lies in the constellation Cetus, and it is more than 400 million light-years away from Earth.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) and is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble science operations. The institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Managers Delay Hubble Servicing Mission

NASA managers have announced that they will not meet a February 2009 launch date for the fifth and final shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The decision comes after engineers completed assessments of the work needed to get a second data handling unit for the telescope ready to fly. The unit will replace one that failed on Hubble in late September, causing the agency to postpone the servicing mission, which had been targeted for Oct. 14.

"We now have done enough analysis of all the things that need to happen with the flight spare unit to know that we cannot be ready for a February launch," said NASA's Astrophysics Division Director Jon Morse at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The February date was an initial estimate, assuming minimal hardware preparations and test durations that are no longer viewed as realistic. We've communicated our assessment to the Space Shuttle Program so it can adjust near-term plans. We will work closely with the Shuttle Program to develop details for a new launch opportunity."

"Getting ourselves in a position to be ready to launch the Hubble mission will involve many steps, and a significant one took place earlier today," said Hubble Program Manager Preston Burch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We held a flight certification peer review meeting where every aspect for doing this effort -- the inspections needed, all the tests to be conducted, the certification process and the final flight preparations -- was examined. The conclusion was that we indeed have a very good plan in place."

The Hubble flight spare, known as the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling system, has been at Goddard since it was originally delivered as a back-up system in 1991. The unit currently is undergoing testing and examination to identify and correct any problems. That work will continue until mid-December.

The unit will then undergo environmental assessments that include electro-magnetic interference checks, vibration tests, and extended time in a thermal vacuum chamber. Environmental testing is anticipated to run from mid-December to early March 2009. Final testing will be conducted on the unit, and delivery to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is expected in early April.

"The equipment we are dealing with has a flight-proven design," said Burch." The original unit on Hubble ran for more than 18 years. We have a lot of spare parts if we encounter problems, and we have most of the same test equipment that was used with the original unit. We also have a lot of experience on our Hubble electrical replica, which uses the engineering model data handling unit."

The vast majority of the flight hardware, tools and support equipment that will be used during the mission will be stored at Kennedy. A small amount of new work such as re-lubricating the latches on the Soft Capture Mechanism and testing the motors on the Flight Support System will be conducted. The Wide Field Camera 3 will remain in its carrier. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph is in a special double-layered purge system in its shipping container to help support its environmental needs. The new batteries to be installed during the mission are in cold storage at Goddard and will be returned to Kennedy in 2009.

In the meantime, science observations on Hubble that had been suspended continue to move toward standard operations. The current primary camera on the telescope, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, was brought back online. On Wednesday, calibration images with the Advanced Camera for Surveys' Solar Blind Channel were completed. Regular science observations resumed Thursday, and the first science image from the camera was released.

Should the flight hardware ship to Kennedy Space Center in April as noted, then the Hubble program may be ready to fly STS-125 in the "May-ish time frame" said Burch.

Robert Pearlman
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The shuttle will remain assembled for launch position until a new target date is set for its servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Given the additional delay to STS-125, NASA managers are now planning to de-stack Atlantis from its solid rocket boosters and external tank, so as to be able to service the orbiter.

(Discovery will then be mated with the stack to launch the STS-119 mission before STS-125 flies.)

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Sets Target Shuttle Launch Date for Hubble Servicing Mission

NASA announced Thursday that space shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope is targeted to launch May 12, 2009.

The final servicing mission to Hubble was delayed in September when a data handling unit on the telescope failed. Since then, engineers have been working to prepare a spare for flight. They expect to be able to ship the spare, known as the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling System, to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in spring 2009.

STS-125 is an 11-day flight featuring five spacewalks to extend Hubble's life into the next decade by refurbishing and upgrading the telescope with state-of-the-art science instruments and swapping failed hardware. Scott Altman will command STS-125, with Gregory C. Johnson serving as pilot. Mission specialists are veteran spacewalkers John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino, and first-time space fliers Andrew Feustel, Michael Good and Megan McArthur.

The manifest has been adjusted to reflect current planning. The next space shuttle mission, STS-119, is targeted for launch on Feb. 12, 2009. Preparations continue for the STS-127 mission, currently targeted for launch in May 2009. That launch will be further assessed and coordinated with NASA's international partners at a later date. STS-128 is targeted for August 2009, and STS-129 is targeted for November 2009. All target launch dates are subject to change.

Robert Pearlman
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In the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building, external tank 130 is lifted off its transporter.

The tank was raised to vertical and lifted into high bay 2 on December 5 for checkout before stacking with the solid rocket boosters and space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission.

This fuel tank was previously designated for the STS-127 mission.

Robert Pearlman
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The twin solid rocket boosters and external tank (ET-130) that will launch STS-125 were moved by crawler transporter on Tuesday from the Vehicle Assembly Building's high bay 1 to high bay 3.

The move was to make room for a similar stack to be readied for STS-127, which will first serve as the launch-on-need STS-400 contingency vehicle.

OV-105
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I know they have moved the MLP with just the SRB's before. This is the first time I can remember seeing them move the SRB/ET stack.

Robert Pearlman
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Discovery News' Free Space: Debris field danger could nix Hubble fix
The crash that took out an Iridium satellite and a defunct Russian communications spacecraft may claim an innocent bystander as well -- the Hubble Space Telescope. Without a servicing mission by a space shuttle crew, currently targeted for launch in May, the telescope is not expected to last more than another year or two.

...Mark Matney, an orbital-debris specialist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, told Nature magazine that even before last week's crash the risk of a debris impact for the shuttle already "uncomfortably close to unacceptable levels. This is only going to add on to that."

A decision about whether to proceed with the Hubble repair mission could be made in the next week or two, Nature reports.

Robert Pearlman
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On Monday, March 23, at 11:30 a.m. EDT, space shuttle Atlantis began its rollover from Orbiter Processing Facility 1 (OPF-1) to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be lifted into High Bay 3 and mated to the solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank already positioned on a mobile launcher platform.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis to Move to Launch Pad Tuesday

Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, March 31, as preparations for the STS-125 mission move forward. Atlantis is targeted to lift off May 12 to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The first motion of the shuttle out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT. The fully assembled space shuttle, consisting of the orbiter, external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters, was mounted on a mobile launcher platform and will be delivered to the pad atop a crawler-transporter. The crawler will travel slower than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The process is expected to take approximately six hours.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Atlantis' rollout to the launch pad beginning at 7 a.m. Video highlights will air on the NASA TV Video File.

In the Vehicle Assembly Building, Atlantis is lowered alongside its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis at Launch Pad for Hubble Mission

After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis now awaits liftoff for its target May 12 STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39A at approximately 9:10 a.m. EDT Tuesday on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 3:54 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 11:17 a.m.

Atlantis' 11-day mission is the final shuttle flight to Hubble. During five spacewalks, the shuttle's seven astronauts will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and replace other Hubble components.

The Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit that will be installed in the telescope arrived at Kennedy on Monday. The new unit will replace the one in Hubble that stopped working in September 2008 and delayed the servicing mission.

The result of the upgrades will be six working, complementary science instruments with capabilities beyond those now available and an extended operational lifespan of the telescope through at least 2014.

Scott Altman will command Atlantis. Gregory C. Johnson will be the pilot. The Mission Specialists will be John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Megan McArthur, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good.

STS-125 is the 126th shuttle flight, the 30th flight for Atlantis and the fifth Hubble servicing mission.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-22-2009 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Saturday, April 18 at Pad 39A, the STS-125 payload canister was lifted into the changeout room where its cargo of Hubble Telescope equipment was deposited.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-22-2009 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CBS/Spaceflight Now: Shuttle Atlantis could launch a day sooner than planned
NASA managers are debating whether to move up launch of the shuttle Atlantis one day, from May 12 to May 11, to get as many launch opportunities as possible before standing down to make way for a military operation that requires support from the Air Force Eastern Range starting May 14, officials said Wednesday.

StarDome
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posted 04-23-2009 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the launch is re-scheduled for the 11th, any ideas of timings? Would it still be a 1:30pm-ish launch?

Ben
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posted 04-23-2009 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
2:01 to 2:43 p.m. EDT. 27-32 minutes earlier per day.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-24-2009 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As expected, NASA has re-targeted STS-125 for a launch on May 11. Here are the most recent launch windows:

GACspaceguy
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posted 04-24-2009 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting to see a launch window longer than a few minutes again!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-28-2009 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Adapted from a NASA update:
Radiator dents, caused by a falling socket in Atlantis' payload bay during payload installation operations last week, were photographed yesterday and a crack was observed.

During an inspection last week, personnel noted a crease, but did not observe a crack in the dented radiator panel. Managers and engineers are reviewing the data and evaluating the repair options that may include adding a doubler or stop drilling to prevent the crack from spreading.

Any repair necessary is not expected to delay the targeted May 11 launch.

Late on Tuesday, NASA confirmed that it would go forward with the repair, patching the crack so that it could not spread further.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-30-2009 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch on May 11

NASA managers completed a review Thursday of space shuttle Atlantis' readiness for flight and selected an official launch date for the STS-125 mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Commander Scott Altman and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off at 2:01 p.m. EDT, May 11, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Atlantis' launch date was announced following Thursday's Flight Readiness Review. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.

Atlantis' 11-day mission will include five spacewalks to refurbish Hubble with state-of-the-art science instruments. After the astronauts' visit, the telescope's capabilities will be expanded and its lifetime extended through at least 2014.

Commander Altman will be joined on the mission by Pilot Gregory C. Johnson and Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld, Megan McArthur and Mike Massimino. The spacewalkers are Feustel, Good, Grunsfeld and Massimino. McArthur is the flight engineer and lead for robotic arm operations.

music_space
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posted 05-07-2009 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Spaceflight Now, this four-page article "Mission preview: One last shuttle visit to Hubble", by W. Harwood, originally written for CBS News "Space Place". A good preparatory reading for this exciting mission.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-08-2009 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
All Systems "Go" for Atlantis' May 11 Launch

The pace of prelaunch activities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida picks up today with only three days remaining until liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-125 mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

"All of the systems are in great shape," reported NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber during this morning's countdown status briefing at Kennedy. "Launch countdown preps are complete and we don't have any issues to report right now. Our launch team here at Kennedy Space Center is proud to be a part of this historic mission that will expand the Hubble Space Telescope's view of the universe and extend its life into the next decade."

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported only a 20 percent chance that weather could cause issues at the preferred launch time of 2:01 p.m. EDT May 11. The team has a launch window of about one hour that opens 20 minutes earlier at 1:41 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m., launch personnel will take their seats inside Firing Room 4 of Kennedy's Launch Control Center. The countdown will begin at 4 p.m., ticking backward from T-43 hours. At the launch pad, Atlantis' payload bay doors will be closed this afternoon.

The seven astronauts who will conduct the mission are due to fly in from their home base at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, arriving at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility at 5 p.m.

With regards to the weather, while the conditions in Florida look favorable, rain in Spain may be an issue. From CBS/Bill Harwood:
Because of the trajectory Atlantis must fly to reach the space telescope, only one of NASA's three emergency runways in Europe is avaiilable in case of an engine failure or some other problem that might crop up during ascent.

At the designated trans-Atlantic landing site near Moron, Spain, forecasters are predicting a chance of showers within 20 nautical miles.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-08-2009 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update (Photo credit: collectSPACE.com)
STS-125 Astronauts Arrive as Countdown Begins

Under a hot, late-afternoon Florida sun, the seven astronauts who will ride space shuttle Atlantis on their mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope arrived Friday at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.

"Hello Florida! It's great to be here at last!" Commander Scott Altman told a crowd of journalists gathered at the runway. "It's been a long road to get here, and we're all thrilled." After expressing thanks to the teams who trained them and prepared the space shuttles and hardware for the Hubble mission, he concluded with a rousing, "We are ready. Let's launch Atlantis!"

Earlier in the afternoon, the countdown clock began ticking backward from T-43 hours and launch personnel took their seats inside Firing Room 4 of Kennedy's Launch Control Center.


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