Post Mission Picnic
We had a picnic at the Goddard Recreation Center with the whole Hubble
team and the crew on 7/19/09, a few months after the mission.
We had a nice BBQ lunch with the crew, and they lined up for autographs
Christopher is here with Dr. John on the left (lead spacewalker),
and Scooter (Commander).
Our boss, Frank Cepollina, the head of Hubble Servicing spoke to thank
the crew for
Examination of the returned hardware
This is the Science Data Computer which failure caused the delay in
We had the task of finding the fault that caused it to stop operation.
Here is the zoomed-in tag on the box. It was originally built
lasted 18 years in space. Way beyond the intended design life.
The failure in this unit was traced to a bad 8x300
in the Science
Data Formatter section of the box. The board with this chip
The failed chip is the large one on the left with the two temperature
onto it. The clear coating you see is common on all space
boards, and protects the
components from corrosion (while on the ground), and shorts by floating
Another returned item is the old outer blanket layer on the Hubble
doors. We examined these a few months after the
These blankets have been on the doors of Hubble for more than 19 years,
and represent a treasure trove of on-orbit data.
Here we are in Building 30 (Materials Branch) opening up the bag that
used to stuff the old thermal blanket during the mission.
View of the corner of the thermal blanket. Hubble (and any
bombarded by micro meteorites that blast through space with great
The yellow splotch that you see in the lower right is a location where
one blasted through the thermal blanket layers.
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The above image shows a
meteorite impact. These blankets are Teflon and Kapton sheets
with an silver vapor deposited finish. As a result, they have
bright appearance. However, in the above impact case, the
meteorite was able to blast the silver coating off around the impact
hole. The hole itself is the dark oval shape area in the
Some specks of the silver teflon blanketing broke off, and I was
allowed to keep these.
These specks are material
19 years in space!
The broken handrail
During the repair of the STIS instrument, one handrail would not come
loose. So astronaut Mike Massimino had to break
the handrail to proceed with the repair
. Below is
of the bolt that he broke to remove the handrail. Note the
fatigued appearance of the bolt's end.
The bolt that Mike Massimino broke during the mission.