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Sun, May 17, 2009

STS-125: Three Out Of Five Spacewalks Successfully Completed So Far

"Batting 1000" To This Point

STS-125 mission specialists John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel finished the mission’s third spacewalk Saturday at 4:11 p.m. EDT. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 36 minutes. During the endeavor outside the shuttle, Feustel and Grunsfeld removed the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement and installed in its place the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. They also completed the Advanced Camera for Surveys electronic card replacement work. The spacewalkers were ahead of schedule and were able to complete part 2 of the ACS repair, installing a new electronics box and cable.

Space shuttle Atlantis’ 11-day mission is the final shuttle flight to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The seven-member crew will enhance the observatory and ensure cutting-edge science. The mission puts in place advanced technology that improves the telescope’s discovery power by 10 to 70 times. The five scheduled spacewalks will install new instruments and thermal blankets, repair two existing instruments, refurbish subsystems and replace gyroscopes, batteries and a unit that stores and transmits science data to Earth. The result will be six working, complementary science instruments with new capabilities, and an extended operational lifespan through at least 2014.

Saturday, the spacewalkers focused on the installation of the telescope’s new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and completed the Advanced Camera for Surveys repair work. Engineers from the Space Telescope Operations Control Center at Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland powered up both components and reported good aliveness tests. More tests will be conducted during the astronauts sleep period.

On Sunday, starting at 9:16 a.m., astronauts Mike Good and Mike Massimino will repair the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and install the New Outer Blanket Layer during the fourth STS-125 spacewalk.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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