May 19, 2009 Human hands have touched the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time. Astronauts Andrew Feustel and John Grunsfeld spent seven hours and two minutes on May 18 putting the finishing touches on the telescope in the final spacewalk from a space shuttle airlock.
During the STS-125 mission’s five spacewalks, Atlantis’ crew completed all of the mission objectives to improve Hubble's view of the universe.
Over the course of the mission’s five spacewalks, the crew added two new science instruments, repaired two others and replaced hardware that will extend the telescope's life at least through 2014. The five spacewalks lasted 36 hours and 56 minutes all together. There have been 23 spacewalks devoted to Hubble, totaling 166 hours and six minutes.
The spacewalkers began Monday’s work early and stepped quickly through the main focus, swapping a battery module from Bay 3 with a fresh module and removing and replacing the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) 2.
With that work complete, they installed New Outer Blanket Layers (NOBL) on three bays on the outside of the telescope, one of which was a leftover task from Sunday’s spacewalk and the third was a bonus task.
About four months of activities are planned for checking out and calibrating the instruments before scientific observations can begin again.
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