Lockheed Martin Team to Support Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission
SUNNYVALE, CA, March 23rd, 1999 -- A team led by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space will provide support to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the planning, training and implementation of SM-3A, a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), scheduled for launch in October 1999. "We're quite pleased to support the October mission to restore Hubble's functional redundancy and upgrade its computer and electronics capabilities," said Jim Kelley, Lockheed Martin Program Manager of HST Flight Systems and Servicing. "We've assembled the same team that performed so impressively on the first two servicing missions. We're confident that this mission will go just as well, and set the stage for a Shuttle visit at the end of next year to install some new science instruments. We're proud to work with NASA Goddard to maintain this magnificent observatory." The SM-3A principal objective is the replacement of all six gyroscopes that comprise three Rate Sensor Units. Three functioning gyroscopes are required for astronomical observations to continue on HST. Only four of the gyros are currently operating, and one of these is only working intermittently and could fail in the next few months. If one of the three remaining fully functioning gyros were to fail, the telescope would enter an automatic safemode that would command the telescope to align itself so that sunlight falling on the arrays would keep its batteries charged. The observatory would safely await the Shuttle's arrival, but science operations would cease. In addition to replacements of the Rate Sensor Units, spacewalking astronauts on SM-3A will install a new HST 486 class computer that will dramatically increase the computing power, speed and storage capability of HST. They will change out one of the Fine Guidance Sensors, and replace a tape recorder with a new Solid-State Recorder. The Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) crew will also install a new S-band transmitter, and install voltage improvement kits for the telescope's nickel-hydrogen batteries. Finally, they will undertake repairs on the multi-layer insulation on the outer surface of the telescope. Three spacewalks are planned to complete the repairs, with a fourth contingency EVA available. The Lockheed Martin team includes individuals from Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, Lockheed Martin Technical Operations, Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Jackson and Tull, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Raytheon Optical Systems Inc., Allied-Signal, and Raytheon STX. The team is responsible for:
* Spacecraft Systems Engineering and Design Integration * Payload Integration and Test at GSFC and KSC * Astronaut Training * Replacement Satellite Hardware Design and Development * Space Shuttle Support Equipment Design and Development * Spacecraft Mission Operations and Control * Ground Software * Spacecraft Flight Software * Servicing Mission Planning and Timeline Development.
Hubble was designed from the start to allow its instruments and systems to be replaced when necessary or when obsolete -- with the benefits of extended operating life and increased productivity. "In February 1997, we fitted Hubble with two next-generation scientific instruments, the Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), giving it new infrared and ultraviolet vision" said Kelley. "At the same time we installed a new state-of-the-art Solid State Recorder -- just like another one that will be installed on mission 3-A -- that dramatically increased Hubble's observing capacity." Astronauts on Servicing Mission 3-B, currently scheduled for late 2000, will install the Advanced Camera for Surveys that will offer ten times the resolution of the cameras already on-board. In addition, new super-efficient solar arrays from Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space will generate enough power for simultaneous operation of several scientific instruments. These technologies were not available when Hubble was designed and launched. "By the time we complete servicing missions 3-A and 3-B, the addition of new technology hardware and the incorporation of advanced instruments will have increased the scientific capability significantly," said Frank Cepollina, NASA, Project Manager, Hubble Space Telescope Flight Systems and Servicing. "And when SM-4 is completed in late 2002, we will have the latest 21st century scientific imaging technology on board. Astronomical capability is added as efficient, technologically superior instruments replace those that have fulfilled their mission. More discoveries are possible because power, data gathering and dissemination capabilities are increased." Since its launch in April 1990, this unique, powerful observatory has produced a vast amount of information and a steady stream of images that have astounded the world's astronomical and scientific community. The Telescope has looked at more than 10,000 astronomical targets, taken over 120,000 exposures, produced more than 4.5 trillion bytes of science data, and given rise to over 1,700 scientific reports and research papers by astronomers from 35 countries. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD manages the HST project for the Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters. Since the 1990 launch, under contract to NASA, Missiles & Space and Lockheed Martin Technical Operations personnel in Sunnyvale, Calif. and at GSFC have helped manage the day-to-day spacecraft operations of the telescope, and have provided extensive preparation and training for the telescope servicing missions. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD selects observing programs from numerous proposals and analyzes, archives, and disseminates incoming astronomical data. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a leading supplier of satellites and space systems to military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft and systems have enhanced military and commercial communications; provided new and timely remote-sensing information; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and the universe.