Sunday, July 19, 2009

STS-125: New Free Mission released with Service Pack 3.70

Carried out by Atlantis on May 11, 2009, STS-125 was a complex mission which tested the skill and patience of the Shuttle crew.
During STS-125, the Atlantis crew performed major maintenance, repair and upgrade operations on the HST. After rendezvous and HST capture with the RMS, the crew placed the HST on the Space Shuttle payload bay “operation table” and during the following five space walks, the Astronauts replaced damaged modules and batteries, and added modern scientific instruments.
STS-125 was an extremely successful mission as it increased Hubble’s usable life to at least 2014, while at the same time, increasing its scientific capabilities beyond to what has been available before STS-125.

As NASA puts it: “With the newly installed Wide Field Camera, Hubble will be able to observe in ultraviolet and infrared spectrums as well as visible light, peer deep onto the cosmic frontier in search of the earliest star systems and study planets in the solar system. The telescope’s new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph will allow it to study the grand-scale structure of the universe, including the star-driven chemical evolution that produces carbon and the other elements necessary for life.”