Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions
Orbital and one of its predecessor companies, Fairchild Space, has played an important role in all four of the Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. Under a contract from Lockheed Martin, the Telescope’s prime contractor, Orbital TSD engineers have provided a host of services including mission planning, designing the tools used by the astronauts, training astronauts for their spacewalks (referred to as “EVAs”) and maintaining the hardware after the completion of the missions.
All four servicing missions have been complete successes, and Orbital engineers are now assisting in the design and planning of the fifth and final servicing mission scheduled to take place in 2008.
Hubble Servicing Missions
Servicing Mission 1 (SM-1) 1993 - SM-1 was undertaken to conduct planned maintenance on the telescope. New instruments were installed and the flaw in Hubble's primary mirror was corrected.
Servicing Mission 2 (SM-2) 1997 - SM-2 greatly improved Hubble's productivity with the installation of new near infrared instruments extending Hubble's wavelength range, and the replacement of failed or degraded spacecraft components.
Servicing Mission 3A (SM-3A) 1999 - NASA split the Third Servicing Mission (SM3) into two parts, after the third of Hubble’s six gyroscopes failed. The SM-3A mission included the installation of six fresh gyroscopes, a faster, more powerful, main computer, a next-generation solid state data recorder, and new insulation among others.
Servicing Mission 3B (SM-3B) 2002 - On SM3B a new science instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), was installed increasing the amount of science that can be conducted by a factor of 10 compared to the previous surveyor instrument. Several other activities were accomplished including the installation of new sturdier rigid solar arrays.
Servicing Mission 4 (SM4) 2008 - SM-4 is the final planned servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission will feature the installation of new cutting-edge science instruments to enhance Hubble’s capabilities as well as the replacement of gyros, batteries and other components to extend operations of the telescope to at least 2013.