Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

FW: NASA Approves Mission and Names Crew for Return to Hubble

Expand Messages
  • mobydoc
    ... From: NASA News [mailto:hqnews@mediaservices.nasa.gov] Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2006 5:25 a.m. To: NASA News Subject: NASA Approves Mission and Names
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      -----Original Message-----
      From: NASA News [mailto:hqnews@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2006 5:25 a.m.
      To: NASA News
      Subject: NASA Approves Mission and Names Crew for Return to Hubble

      Oct. 31, 2006

      Allard Beutel/Dwayne Brown
      Headquarters, Washington

      Dewayne Washington/Susan Hendrix
      Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

      James Hartsfield/Kyle Herring
      Johnson Space Center, Houston

      RELEASE: 06-343


      Shuttle astronauts will make one final house call to NASA's Hubble
      Space Telescope as part of a mission to extend and improve the
      observatory's capabilities through 2013.

      NASA Administrator Michael Griffin announced plans for a fifth
      servicing mission to Hubble Tuesday during a meeting with agency
      employees at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Goddard is the agency center responsible for managing Hubble.

      "We have conducted a detailed analysis of the performance and
      procedures necessary to carry out a successful Hubble repair mission
      over the course of the last three shuttle missions. What we have
      learned has convinced us that we are able to conduct a safe and
      effective servicing mission to Hubble," Griffin said. "While there is
      an inherent risk in all spaceflight activities, the desire to
      preserve a truly international asset like the Hubble Space Telescope
      makes doing this mission the right course of action."

      The flight is tentatively targeted for launch during the spring to
      fall of 2008. Mission planners are working to determine the best
      location and vehicle in the manifest to support the needs of Hubble
      while minimizing impact to International Space Station assembly. The
      planners are investigating the best way to support a launch on need
      mission for the Hubble flight. The present option will keep Launch
      Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., available for such a
      rescue flight should it be necessary.

      Griffin also announced the astronauts selected for the mission.
      Veteran astronaut Scott D. Altman will command the final space
      shuttle mission to Hubble. Navy Reserve Capt. Gregory C. Johnson will
      serve as pilot. Mission specialists include veteran spacewalkers John
      M. Grunsfeld and Michael J. Massimino and first-time space fliers
      Andrew J. Feustel, Michael T. Good and K. Megan McArthur.

      Altman, a native of Pekin, Ill., will be making his fourth spaceflight
      and his second trip to Hubble. He commanded the STS-109 Hubble
      servicing mission in 2002. He served as pilot of STS-90 in 1998 and
      STS-106 in 2000. Johnson, a Seattle native and former Navy test pilot
      and NASA research pilot, was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He
      will be making his first spaceflight.

      Chicago native Grunsfeld, an astronomer, will be making his third trip
      to Hubble and his fifth spaceflight. He performed five spacewalks to
      service the telescope on STS-103 in 1999 and STS-109 in 2002. He also
      flew on STS-67 in 1995 and STS-81 in 1997. Massimino, from Franklin
      Square, N.Y., will be making his second trip to Hubble and his second
      spaceflight. He performed two spacewalks to service the telescope
      during the STS-109 mission in 2002.

      Feustel, Good, and McArthur were each selected as astronauts in 2000.
      Feustel, a native of Lake Orion, Mich., was an exploration
      geophysicist in the petroleum industry at the time of his selection
      by NASA. Good is from Broadview Heights, Ohio, and is an Air Force
      colonel and weapons' systems officer. He graduated from the Air Force
      Test Pilot School, having logged more than 2,100 hours in 30
      different types of aircraft. McArthur, born in Honolulu, considers
      California her home state. An oceanographer and former chief
      scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, she has a
      doctorate from the University of California-San Diego.

      The two new instruments are the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and
      Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The COS is the most sensitive ultraviolet
      spectrograph ever flown on Hubble. The instrument will probe the
      cosmic web, the large-scale structure of the universe whose form is
      determined by the gravity of dark matter and is traced by the spatial
      distribution of galaxies and intergalactic gas.

      WFC3 is a new camera sensitive across a wide range of wavelengths
      (colors), including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. It will
      have a broad inquiry from the planets in our solar system to the
      early and distant galaxies beyond Hubble's current reach, to nearby
      galaxies with stories to tell about their star formation histories.

      Other planned work includes installing a refurbished Fine Guidance
      Sensor that replaces one degrading unit of the three already onboard.
      The sensors control the telescope's pointing system. An attempt will
      also be made to repair the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.
      Installed in 1997, it stopped working in 2004. The instrument is used
      for high resolution studies in visible and ultraviolet light of both
      nearby star systems and distant galaxies, providing information about
      the motions and chemical makeup of stars, planetary atmospheres, and
      other galaxies.

      "Hubble has been rewriting astronomy text books for more than 15
      years, and all of us are looking forward to the new chapters that
      will be added with future discoveries and insights about our
      universe," said Mary Cleave, NASA's associate administrator for the
      Science Mission Directorate.

      The Hubble servicing mission is an 11-day flight. Following launch,
      the shuttle will rendezvous with the telescope on the third day of
      the flight. Using the shuttle's mechanical arm, the telescope will be
      placed on a work platform in the cargo bay. Five separate space walks
      will be needed to accomplish all of the mission objectives.

      "The Hubble mission will be an exciting mission for the shuttle team.
      The teams have used the experiences gained from Return to Flight and
      station assembly to craft a very workable Hubble servicing flight.
      The inspection and repair techniques, along with spacewalk planning
      from station assembly, were invaluable in showing this mission is
      feasible," said Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill
      Gerstenmaier. "There are plenty of challenges ahead as the teams do
      the detailed planning and figure the best way to provide for a launch
      on need capability for the mission. There is no question that this
      highly motivated and dedicated flight control team will meet the

      The Hubble Space Telescope is an international cooperative project
      between NASA and the European Space Agency.

      For more information about the mission and the Hubble, visit:


      For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:



      To subscribe to the list, send a message to:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.