Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fixing Hubble's Vision

Astronauts work on Hubble in Endeavour's payload bay; Story Musgrave, anchored on the end of the Canadarm, prepares to be elevated to the top of the HST to install protective covers on the magnetometers.

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the BBC Horizon documentary “Hubble Vision”.

Astronauts included in the STS-61 crew portrait include (standing in rear left to right) Richard O. Covey, commander; and mission specialists Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and Thomas D. Akers. Seated left to right are Kenneth D. Bowersox, pilot; Kathryn C. Thornton, mission specialist; F. Story Musgrave, payload commander; and Claude Nicollier, mission specialist. Launched aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor on December 2, 1993 at 4:27:00 am (EST), the STS-61 mission was the first Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission, and the last mission of 1993.

Hubble was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24th, 1990.

When the telescope achieved first light, it was immediately obvious that there was a serious problem with the optics and that the primary mirror had been ground to the wrong shape. The design of the Hubble Space telescope had always incorporated servicing missions, and astronomers immediately began to seek potential solutions to the problem that could be applied at the first servicing mission, scheduled for 1993.

STS-61 Crew Insignia The STS-61 crew insignia depicts the astronaut symbol superimposed against the sky with the Earth underneath. Also seen are two circles representing the optical configuration of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The Space Shuttle Endeavour is also represented. The overall design of the emblem, with lines converging to a high point, is also a symbolic representation of the large-scale Earth-based effort to reach goals of knowledge and perfection.

This documentary tells how the faulty telescope came to represent the future of NASA itself and how, in a desperate gamble, a $629 million repair mission was planned and launched.

In this documentary we follow the efforts of the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour, during STS-61, to fix the spaceborne observatory's vision marred by spherical aberration.

With its very heavy workload, the STS-61 mission was one of the most complex in the Shuttle's history. It lasted almost 11 days, and crew members made five spacewalks, an all-time record.
By installing a new main camera and a corrective optics package the crew of STS-61, the first Hubble servicing mission, managed to save the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s reputation.

BBC Horizon – Fixing Hubble's Vision
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