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Fw: NASA HSF News Digest V1 #22

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

In this issue:

	STS-109 Mission Status Report #17
	STS-109 Mission Status Report #18

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 22:50:15 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #17

 Friday, March 8, 2002 - 10:30 p.m. CST 
 Columbia's crew is preparing to bid a rejuvenated Hubble Space Telescope
farewell following five days of spacewalks that have updated and enhanced
the world's greatest observatory.

The crew completed five spacewalks on consecutive days, installing
equipment that will give the telescope more energy, a new electronic
"heart," and a camera more powerful than ever before.  Columbia
will release Hubble at about 4 a.m. CST Saturday, firing its engines soon
after to separate the vicinity.

Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey and mission specialists John
Grunsfeld, Nancy Currie, Rick Linnehan, Jim Newman and Mike Massimino
aboard Columbia were awakened at 9:52 p.m. CST by “Who Made Who” by AC
DC. The song was played for Carey.

Activities in preparation for Hubble's release will begin about 12:52
a.m. CST when Currie grips a fixture on the telescope with Columbia's
robotic arm. The latches that have held the telescope to a special
support structure in the shuttle's payload bay will be released at about 
2:04 a.m. CST. Currie will then lift the telescope above the cargo bay to
a position poised for release. Several systems checks will follow as
ground controllers at the Space Telescope Operations Center, Greenbelt,
Md., prepare the observatory to again fly free before it is finally
released by the shuttle.

After separating from the telescope, Columbia's crew will take a break
from duties at 7:03 a.m. CST to participate in interviews by the NBC
Weekend Today Show, WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minn., and CNN.

The crew will begin a  sleep period at 11:52 a.m. CST Saturday.  The next
mission status report will be issued Saturday afternoon, or as events

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2002 09:36:40 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #18

 Saturday, March 9, 2002  – 10:30 a.m. CST 
 “Good luck Mr. Hubble,” was the call from on board Columbia this morning
as the newly rejuvenated telescope was released from the grasp of the
shuttle’s robotic arm at 4:04 a.m. central time today.

>From the flight deck, spacewalker John Grunsfeld expressed the sentiments
of the crew – Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey and Mission
Specialists Nancy Currie, Mike Massimino, Jim Newman and Rick Linnehan –
as he said “from the crew of STS-109, we bid Hubble well on its new
journey, with its new tools, to explore the universe.” 

Grunsfeld, Linnehan, Newman and Massimino completed five spacewalks to
service and upgrade the telescope on five consecutive days, beginning
early Monday morning. The spacewalks set a new record for a single
shuttle mission with a total time of 35 hours 55 minutes, surpassing the
previous record of 35 hours 26 minutes held by STS-61, the first Hubble
servicing mission. The Hubble has now been serviced four times with a
total of18 spacewalks, involving 14 different astronauts, for a total
spacewalking time of 129 hours 10 minutes.

Over five days, the spacewalkers, assisted by Currie operating the
shuttle’s robotic arm, installed equipment that gave the telescope more
power, a new module to dispense that extra power, and a camera able to
see twice as much area, with more speed and clarity. They also installed
an experimental cooling system that engineers hope will bring back to
life the Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer.

At 4:05 a.m., Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Duane Carey fired
Columbia’s orbital maneuvering system engines to begin separating
themselves from Hubble – leaving the telescope to continue it
observations of the universe with more capabilities than ever before.

The crew took time this morning to discuss the progress of their mission
with the NBC Weekend Today Show, WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minn. and CNN.
The crew is scheduled to begin their sleep period at 11:52 a.m. CST and
to awaken at 8:52 p.m. to begin their 10th day in space.

The next mission status report will be issued Saturday evening, or as
events warrant.

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