STS-103 Day 5 Highlights
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- On Friday, December 24, 1999, 10:00 a.m. CST, STS-103 MCC Status Report # 10
- The Hubble Space Telescope is scheduled to receive its final
upgrades today as astronauts Steve Smith and John Grunsfeld perform
the last of three planned space walks to refurbish the orbiting
- Today's planned 7 = hour-long space walk will see Smith and
Grunsfeld install a transmitter that relays Hubble's scientific data
from the telescope to the ground and an upgraded digital recorder
replacing an older mechanical version.
- The transmitter to be installed today replaces one that failed in
1998. Since that time, the second on-board transmitter has
successfully carried the load without any disruption to Hubble
operations. The transmitters are considered very reliable, and unlike
most of the equipment aboard Hubble, were not designed to be changed
out in orbit. Special tools were developed to enable astronauts to do
the job more easily.
- The digital Solid State Recorder being installed on the telescope
will replace an older mechanical model and provide more than 10 times
the storage capacity. Smith and Grunsfeld also will apply some new
insulation on equipment bay doors to minimize any degradation of the
telescope's protective thermal coverings.
- The space walk currently is scheduled to being at 1:20 p.m. Central
Time and is expected to last about 7 = hours.
- Mission Control awakened the crew at 8:50 a.m. today to the sounds
of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" played for Smith and the
children's song "Skinnamarink" by Kimbo for Grunsfeld. Discovery
remains in excellent condition, in an orbit with a high point of 380
statute miles and a low point of 364 miles.
- On Friday, December 24, 1999, 11:00 p.m. CST, STS-103 MCC Status Report # 11
- Discovery astronauts completed their third and final space walk
Friday evening, replacing a failed radio transmitter and installing a
new solid state recorder. After the successful completion of those
tasks, Lead Flight Director Linda Ham announced Friday evening that
the STS-103 mission had met all criteria for complete success.
Discovery astronauts are scheduled to release Hubble a little before 5
p.m. CST on Christmas Day.
- Astronauts Steve Smith and John Grunsfeld on Friday
installed a transmitter that sends scientific data from Hubble to the
ground. The transmitter replaced one that failed in 1998. A second
transmitter had successfully carried the load without any disruption
to Hubble scientific operations. Since the transmitters are considered
very reliable, they were not designed to be replaced in orbit and
special tools were developed to make the job easier.
- Smith and Grunsfeld also installed a solid state digital recorder,
replacing an older mechanical reel-to-reel recorder version. The
digital Solid State Recorder provides more than 10 times the storage
capacity of the old unit. They also applied new insulation on two
equipment bay doors.
- Both the transmitter and the recorder checked out normally on early
tests by telescope controllers.
- Two previous space walks on Wednesday and Thursday had completed the
highest priority tasks of the mission. Those tasks included
installation of six new gyroscopes and six Voltage/Temperature
Improvement Kits, giving Hubble a new computer 20 times faster and
with six times the memory of the old computer, and replacement of one
of Hubble's three Fine Guidance Sensors.
- Friday's space walk lasted 8 hours and 8 minutes, ending at 9:25
p.m., making it the fourth longest in history. Part of the reason for
the length of the space walk was difficulty in hooking Grunsfeld's
suit up to orbiter power after he had returned to Discovery's
airlock. Friday's space walk brings the total time of STS-103
extravehicular activity to 24 hours, 33 minutes. This mission's three
space walks bring the total amount of time spent servicing Hubble to
93 hours, 13 minutes. Space Shuttle Program space walks now total 317
hours, 3 minutes. And Steve Smith now is the astronaut with the second
longest combined space walk time, with 35 hours, 33 minutes behind
only Jerry Ross, with 44 hours, 11 minutes.
- Discovery is in an orbit with a high point of 380 miles and a low
point of 363 miles. All of the orbiter's systems continued to function
normally. The next status report will be issued at 11 a.m. Saturday or
when events warrant.
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