The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), with its normal routine temporarily interrupted, is about to be captured by the Space Shuttle Columbia prior to a week of servicing and upgrading by the STS-109 crew. The telescope was captured by the shuttle's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) robotic arm and secured on a work stand in Columbia's payload bay where 4 of the 7-member crew performed 5 space walks completing system upgrades to the HST. Included in those upgrades were: The replacement of the solar array panels; replacement of the power control unit (PCU); replacement of the Faint Object Camera (FOC) with a new advanced camera for Surveys (ACS); and installation of the experimental cooling system for the Hubble's Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-object Spectrometer (NICMOS), which had been dormant since January 1999 when its original coolant ran out. The Marshall Space Flight Center had the responsibility for the design, development, and construction of the the HST, which is the most complex and sensitive optical telescope ever made, to study the cosmos from a low-Earth orbit. Launched March 1, 2002, the STS-109 HST servicing mission lasted 10 days, 22 hours, and 11 minutes. It was the 108th flight overall in NASA's Space Shuttle Program.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia STS-109 Faint Object Camera Advanced Camera for Surveys Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) Spectrometer NICMOS Earth