Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spectrograph Repairs take up entire Spacewalk

Two spacewalking astronauts ran into delays during the work to replace the imaging spectrograph low voltage circuit board aboard the Hubble Space Telescope causing another task to moved until Monday.

Astronauts Mike Massimino and Michael Good spent about five hours as they struggled with an interfering handle near the panel which houses the circuit board, and the removal of 111 screws which hold the protective panel in place.

Once the cover was finally removed, the pair removed the blown board and replaced it with a new advanced circuit board at 3:59 pm EDT. Minutes later, they installed a new protective cover which uses two clamps to secure it to the housing of Hubble.

At 4:12 pm, Hubble Ground Operations Control in Maryland began an aliveness test with the board, and later discovered it worked great - cheers went up inside and outside Atlantis.

"I think the guys outside have done enough and we're going to be very proud when they come in at the end of this," Atlantis' commander Scott Altman radioed Mission Control late in the spacewalk.

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