During a Crew Equipment Interface Test, members of the STS-103 crew check out new Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) for the Hubble Space Telescope. The payload hardware is in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. From left are Mission Specialists Claude Nicollier of Switzerland, Steven L. Smith, C. Michael Foale (Ph.D.), and John M. Grunsfeld (Ph.D.). Other members of the crew are Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr., Pilot Scott J. Kelly, and Mission Specialist Jean-Frangois Clervoy of France. Nicollier and Clervoy are with the European Space Agency. Mission STS-103 is a "call-up" due to the need to replace portions of the pointing system, the gyros, which have begun to fail on the Hubble Space Telescope. Although Hubble is operating normally and conducting its scientific observations, only three of its six gyroscopes are working properly. The gyroscopes allow the telescope to point at stars, galaxies and planets. The STS-103 crew will not only replace gyroscopes, it will also replace a Fine Guidance Sensor and an older computer with a new enhanced model, an older data tape recorder with a solid state digital recorder, a failed spare transmitter with a new one, and degraded insulation on the telescope with the MLI. The crew will also install a Battery Voltage/Temperature Improvement Kit to protect the spacecraft batteries from overcharging and overheating when the telescope goes into a safe mode. The scheduled launch date in October is under review. (Photo Release Date: 09/02/1999 )
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