In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, a member of the STS-103 crew checks out rib clamp to be used on the Shield Shell Replacement Fabric (SSRF) task on repair of the Hubble Space Telescope. The seven-member crew, taking part in a Crew Equipment Interface Test, are Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr., Pilot Scott J. Kelly, and Mission Specialists Steven L. Smith, C. Michael Foale (Ph.D.), John M. Grunsfeld (Ph.D.), Claude Nicollier of Switzerland, and 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 new thermal insulation. 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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