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RE: STS numbers.



Mission 3A refers to the third servicing mission of the Hubble Space
Telescope. This flight will also be known as STS-103. We had planned to
launch the third service mission in the summer of 2000 but the recent 
gyro failures on HST have made it desirable to replace the gyros as 
soon as possible. Therefore service mission 3 was split into two parts,
mission 3A will fly in October and is primarily directed toward replacing
the failed gyros and the main computer onboard HST. Mission 3B will fly
in the second half of 2000 and will install new solar arrays and a new
science instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) along with the
NICOS cooling system. It will also reboost the orbit to keep Hubble from
rentering for a few more years.

Shuttle missions are usually not launched in numerical order, the STS-
numbers are assigned during the early stages of mission planning and
astronaut training in order to keep the paperwork straight. Since this
mission is a recent addition to the schedule, it got number 103, but it
will actually be launched before some of the missions in the 90's range.

Dan Schultz N8FGV
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