More Stunning Images From the Hubble Servicing Mission

by Nancy Atkinson on May 22, 2009

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

Astronaut Mike Massimino in the foreground, with Mike Good on the end of the robotic arm, backdropped by the shuttle, Hubble, and Earth. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Mike Massimino in the foreground, with Mike Good on the end of the robotic arm, backdropped by the shuttle, Hubble, and Earth. Credit: NASA


In our last installment of images from the STS-125 mission, we left off with third EVA of the mission. Since then, as I’m sure you know, the astronauts have completed two more EVAs, released Hubble and are waiting for the weather to improve in Florida so they can land. So, let’s get caught up with the latest images released by NASA. I love the image above, as it has everything in it about the mission: two spacewalking astronauts from EVA #4 (Mike Massimino and Mike Good), the shuttle Atlantis, Hubble, and a beautiful view of Earth.

Astronauts work on Hubble during EVA #4. Credit: NASA

Astronauts work on Hubble during EVA #4. Credit: NASA


During the eight-hour, two-minute spacewalk, Massimino and Good worked on repairing the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). To get started with this repair, Massimino had to rip off a handrail (the bolt wouldn’t come loose) in order to access the instrument.
Mike Good (on the RMS) and Mike Massimino during EVA #4. Credit: NASA

Mike Good (on the RMS) and Mike Massimino during EVA #4. Credit: NASA


To repair the electronics on STIS, Massimino has to take out the old electronics card, which had 111 small screws. To do this, and to make sure none of the small screws floated away, engineers devised a “fastener capture plate” which kept the screws inside. To learn more about the different tools the astronauts used for the Hubble repair, see our article, “Super Tools Essential to Hubble Mission Success.”
Mike Massimino looks in on Megan McArthur inside the shuttle. Credit: NASA

Mike Massimino looks in on Megan McArthur inside the shuttle. Credit: NASA


Much of the success of the five EVAs had to do with having the robotic arm carry the astronauts around and position them perfectly for working on Hubble. Megan McArthur spent most of the mission operating the shuttle Remote Manipulator System (RMS) or robotic arm, and did an outstanding job.
John Grunsfeld is dwarfed by Hubble during the 5th EVA. Credit: NASA

John Grunsfeld is dwarfed by Hubble during the 5th EVA. Credit: NASA


The school bus-sized Hubble really is a big spacecraft, evident here in this image from EVA #5, where John Grunsfeld is dwarfed by the observatory.
John Grunsfeld during EVA 5.  Credit: NASA

John Grunsfeld during EVA 5. Credit: NASA


During the seven-hour and two-minute spacewalk, Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel installed a battery group replacement, removed and replaced a Fine Guidance Sensor and three thermal blankets (NOBL) protecting Hubble’s electronics.
John Grunsfeld on EVA 5. Credit: NASA

John Grunsfeld on EVA 5. Credit: NASA

Hang on John! Grunsfeld holds on to the end of the robotic arm, and he’s also tethered to the arm, but still, that has to be an amazing feeling to be dangling in space 300 miles above Earth and just holding on with one hand!
John Grunsfeld works on Hubble from the end of the RMS. Credit: NASA

John Grunsfeld works on Hubble from the end of the RMS. Credit: NASA

More work during EVA 5.
Drew Feustel during EVA 5. Credit: NASA

Drew Feustel during EVA 5. Credit: NASA


When all the old instruments and parts were removed from Hubble, the astronauts had to carefully stow the pieces in the shuttle’s payload bay, making sure the are securely fastened for the trip back home.
Sleeping in the shuttle. Credit: NASA

Sleeping in the shuttle. Credit: NASA


Ever wonder how you sleep in space? Here Massimino, Good and McArthur use the sleeping bags that attach to the walls of the shuttle with Velcro. Some astronauts sleep with their arms out of the bag, which means they float, others tuck their arms in because the floating arms thing is just a little strange. After all the hard work of the EVAs, the astronauts needed, and deserved, a good rest.
Hubble floats in space after being released by the shuttle RMS. Credit: NASA

Hubble floats in space after being released by the shuttle RMS. Credit: NASA


After a successful repair mission, the astronauts said goodbye to Hubble and sent it one its way to make new observations with its new and upgraded instruments.
The crew of STS-125. Credit: NASA

The crew of STS-125. Credit: NASA


The crew of STS-125 includes Scott Altman (center), commander; Gregory C. Johnson, pilot; and Megan McArthur, mission specialist. Pictured on the back row (left to right) are astronauts Andrew Feustel, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Michael Good, all mission specialists. We hope to bring you images of Atlantis’s successful landing soon!

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Aqua May 22, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Thanks! I needed that~ HO!

Sili May 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Do astronautrices deliberately puff up their hair for photoƶps like this or does it just happen?

Will the thingummabob that broke last Autumn be dissected when it gets back home so we can see why it went bzzzt?

tacitus May 22, 2009 at 12:34 PM

From what I’ve seen in the videos of the mission, Megan McArthur was wearing a baseball cap at least some of the time when she wasn’t on camera, and removed it when being filmed for interviews and stuff.

She must have something in her hair (probably gel) to keep it swept backwards out of her face because even though it billowed out during when she took off her cap, it never drifted in front of her face.

So, to answer your question — no, they don’t deliberately puff up their hair for photo-ops — it happens that way as an natural effect of weightlessness, but in Megan’s case, she was definitely doing something to control her hair form being too unruly — probably with some sort of hair product, as I mentioned.

tacitus May 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Everything they took out of Hubble is being brought back to Earth, so yes, they will be able to examine the instruments to see what went wrong.

Indeed, this is probably a very important activity since it could provide them with very useful information about equipment failures in space that they can apply in designing future instrumentation to be even more reliable that it is today.

Jon Hanford May 22, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Astronomers will be interested in examining WFPC 2 to see if (and how) the filters in the camera have altered their throughput and if any wavelength shift or passband width change has occurred. Also, close inspection of the CCDs will help with photometric calibration and dark noise characteristics. Measurement of these parameters will be crucial in properly calibrating data collected by the different filter-chip combinations in the images obtained with the WFPC 2 camera.

Fallout May 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Thank you from Hungary!

Sili May 26, 2009 at 10:44 AM

A bit late, but …

I just realised that I essentially commented on looks of the astronautrix and nothing else.

Sorry – She (like the rest of the crew) has done an awesome job beyond the capabilities of most everyone. I have nothing but respect for her.

It just happened that she’s the one with the long hair in this image, and I recall seeing in floating like this in other group shots, while it seemed pretty calm when she was working.

So I just wondered whether it’s tradition to splash out like that for photoops? (It’s not something we can do down here after all.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: