Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shuttle Discovery Finally Launches; Astronauts To Repair Hubble Space Telescope

Date:
December 20, 1999
Source:
NASA Johnson Space Center
Summary:
In the final launch attempt available this year, Discovery and its seven astronauts blasted off Sunday night on the last human space flight of the 20th century to refurbish the Hubble Space Telescope.

In the final launch attempt available this year, Discovery and its seven astronautsblasted off tonight (Sunday, Dec. 19, 1999) on the last human space flight of the 20th century to refurbish theHubble Space Telescope.

Under clear and starry skies at the Kennedy Space Center, Discovery lifted off ontime at 6:50 p.m. Central time, lighting up the Central Florida coastline, to sendCommander Curt Brown, Pilot Scott Kelly, and Mission Specialists Steve Smith,Jean-Francois Clervoy, John Grunsfeld, Mike Foale and Claude Nicollier on atwo-day chase to catch up to and retrieve the 12 and a half ton telescope. Hubblewas sailing over Eastern Africa at the time of launch.

Eight and a half minutes after the third and final shuttle launch of the year, Discoverywas in orbit as its crew members began to configure shuttle systems for the planned8-day mission. One rendezvous burn of the reaction control system jets is plannedbefore the crew goes to sleep early Monday to fine tune Discovery's path to catchup to Hubble.

Technically, Hubble has been in hibernation since the loss of a fourth gyroscope onNovember 13 designed to enable the telescope to point precisely at distantastronomical targets for scientific observations. Hubble is in what is known as "safemode", a state of dormancy in which the telescope aims itself constantly at the sunto provide electrical power to its systems. Hubble is scheduled to be captured byDiscovery's robot arm around 6:40 p.m. Central time Tuesday.

Once the crew retrieves Hubble, it will be parked at the rear of Discovery's cargobay so that two teams of space-walking astronauts can perform repairs andupgrades to its systems during three nights of space walks. The most vital of thespace walks will occur on Wednesday night, when Smith and Grunsfeld replace allsix of Hubble's gyroscopes and install devices to improve voltage regulation to thetelescope's systems. Only three space walks are planned because the mission wasshortened. Smith and Grunsfeld will conduct the first and third space walks, whilethe second will be conducted by Foale and Nicollier.

If all goes as planned, Hubble will be released back into orbit on Christmas Dayaround 5 p.m. Central time, with landing planned on Dec. 27 at 4:24 p.m.. Centraltime at the Kennedy Space Center.

The astronauts are scheduled to begin an eight-hour sleep period at 1:50 a.m.Central time Monday and will be awakened at 9:50 a.m. Central time to begin theirfirst full day in orbit.

Discovery is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 300 nautical miles, completingone orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes.

The next STS-103 mission status report will be issued shortly after crew wakeupMonday morning.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA Johnson Space Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA Johnson Space Center. "Shuttle Discovery Finally Launches; Astronauts To Repair Hubble Space Telescope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991220083101.htm>.
NASA Johnson Space Center. (1999, December 20). Shuttle Discovery Finally Launches; Astronauts To Repair Hubble Space Telescope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991220083101.htm
NASA Johnson Space Center. "Shuttle Discovery Finally Launches; Astronauts To Repair Hubble Space Telescope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991220083101.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins