Feeds

Final Hubble spacewalk done and dusted

Venerable 'scope in good shape

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Astronauts Andrew Feustel and John Grunsfeld ealier today completed the fifth and final spacewalk of the STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel on the fifth spacewalk. Pic: NASAThe mission specialists (see pic: Grunsfeld at left preparing to ride the shuttle's robotic arm) exited Atlantis at 12:20 GMT, armed with the final set of replacement batteries and a replacement fine guidance sensor - one of three which "provide pointing information and also serve as a scientific instrument for determining precise position and motion of stars".

The battery unit was fitted in around one-and-a-half hours, followed by the fine guidance sensor - neither of which presented problems for the two spacewalkers.

Finally, before finishing their six hour, 56 minute EVA at 19:16 GMT, Feustel and Grunsfeld fitted three New Outer Blanket Layers, which protect the external insulation blankets covering the 'scope's instrument bay doors.

Four of the the stainless steel foil-coated covers were attached during previous servicing missions. Mike Good and Mike Massimo were due to fit one during the fourth spacewalk on Sunday, but a stubborn bolt meant there wasn't enough time. NASA managed to jiggle Feustel and Grunsfeld's schedule to allow them to finish the job today.

During the five spacewalks, the STS-125 mission specialists have also installed the new Wide Field Camera 3 and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, replaced the troublesome Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit, gyros and nickel-hydrogen battery units, and repaired the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Outside the airlock hatch, Grunsfeld said, "This is a really tremendous adventure that we’ve been on, a very challenging mission. Hubble isn’t just a satellite - it’s about humanity’s quest for knowledge."

The venerable eye in the sky should, all being well, now be in good shape to keep working until at least 2014. It will be released from Atlantis's cargo bay tomorrow, ahead of the shuttle's return to terra firma on Friday. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.