STS-103 Mission Specialist C. Michael Foale (Ph.D.) (at right) responds to a question from the media about the mission during an interview at Launch Pad 39B. Next to him is Mission Specialist John M. Grunsfeld (Ph.D.). As a preparation for launch, the crew have been participating in Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) activities at KSC. The TCDT provides the crew with emergency egress training, opportunities to inspect their mission payloads in the orbiter's payload bay, and simulated countdown exercises. Other crew members are Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr., Pilot Scott J. Kelly, and Mission Specialists Steven L. Smith, Jean-Frangois Clervoy of France, and Claude Nicollier of Switzerland. Clervoy and Nicollier are with the European Space Agency. STS-103 is a "call-up" mission due to the need to replace and repair portions of the Hubble Space Telescope, including the gyroscopes that allow the telescope to point at stars, galaxies and planets. The STS-103 crew will be replacing a Fine Guidance Sensor, 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. Four EVA's are planned to make the necessary repairs and replacements on the telescope. The mission is targeted for launch Dec. 6 at 2:37 a.m. EST. (Photo Release Date: 11/16/1999 )
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