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  Mission Updates :: Mar 3 - Flight Day 3

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 Related material for Flight Day 3 - GRAPPLING HUBBLE
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Johnson Space Center
Space News :: Latest Items

Peering outSunday | Mar. 3, 2002 - 1:00 pm EST
Following a goodnight call from Mission Control, Columbia's crew began a scheduled eight-hour sleep period just before noon.

They will awaken about 8 p.m. to prepare for the first of five scheduled spacewalks for this mission. John Grunsfeld and Rick Linnehan will perform the spacewalk which is slated to begin at 12:30 a.m. Monday, but could begin up to one hour early.

During the planned 6 1/2 hour excursion, Grunsfeld and Linnehan will install the first of two new-generation solar panels on the telescope. The new panels are smaller than the current solar arrays but will generate increased power for the orbiting observatory.

Goddard Space Flight Center
The Hubble Space Telescope Project
Hubble Status Report

Top of Hubble
Sunday | Mar. 3, 2002 - 10:53 am EST
The flight of STS-109/SM3B passed important milestones today with the successful rendezvous and grapple of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the retraction of both wings of Solar Array 2 (SA2).

Installed on the telescope in December 1993, SA2 performed magnificently in the last 8+ years, notwithstanding a decline in power output due to aging which had been expected. SA2 presented no problems in today's retraction.

The astronauts will remove the rolled-up SA2 wings in the first two spacewalks, or EVAs, which begin early in the morning (Eastern time) Monday and Tuesday . The replacement arrays, SA3, are 30% smaller in area, but deliver approximately 23% more power than SA2 does now, and 8% more than SA2 did when it was new.

Increased power is important to the Hubble Space Telescope at this time in its mission because the new scientific instruments and equipment being installed in SM3B and SM4 (in 2004) will draw more power than the instruments they replace.

SA3 consists of solid panels, unlike the "window shade" design of SA2, and it represents a very important "science enabling" upgrade to the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission is nominal at this point.

Johnson Space Center
Space News :: Latest Items

One solar array retractedSunday | Mar. 3, 2002 - 9:59 am EST
The Hubble Space Telescope remains nestled in Columbia's payload bay. At 3:31 a.m. central time today, as the two vehicles flew over the Pacific Ocean off the Mexican coast, Mission Specialist Nancy Currie gently maneuvered the shuttle's robotic arm into position to capture the telescope.

Shortly after 7 a.m. central time, the crew and ground controllers at the Goddard Space Flight Center, began the lengthy process of retracting the telescope's two large solar arrays. The retractions occurred flawlessly and were performed during periods of orbital sunlight to ensure the arrays were sufficiently warm during the retraction process.

The solar arrays will be removed during two spacewalks dedicated to installing new, more powerful arrays on the telescope. The old solar arrays will be stowed in Columbia's payload bay for the return trip to Earth. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES...

Sunday | Mar. 3, 2002 - 5:34 am EST
After a successful rendezvous and capture, Columbia astronauts latched the Hubble Space Telescope to the orbiter's Flight Support System at 4:33 a.m. CST Sunday. Five STS-109 spacewalks will upgrade and service the orbiting observatory. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF CAPTURE...

Shuttle crew grapples HubbleSunday | Mar. 3, 2002 - 4:37 am EST
Using Columbia's robotic arm, Astronaut Nancy Currie successfully grappled the Hubble Space Telescope at 3:31 a.m. CST Sunday. The two spacecraft were about 362 statute miles above the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the Mexican coast.

 More material about this mission day
JSC Status Report #5
JSC Status Report #6
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