The Third Mission to Service the
Hubble Space Telescope (SM3A)
This mission occurred unexpectedly early because of the failure of three of the six gyros on the spacecraft. The failure of one more would put the spacecraft into safe-hold and stop the gathering of any more images and scientific data. Since this would represent an unacceptable loss to NASA and the scientific community, the third servicing mission was broken into two trips. They are known as the 3A and the 3B missions. The 3A mission will be in October 1999, and the 3B mission will be in mid 2001.
I will be supporting this mission at the Johnson Space Center as one of the Systems Managers. We are responsible for assisting if there are any problems with the Shuttle and Space Telescope union.
During training for the mission at the Mission Control Center (MCC)
at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas. The person in the
background is Kevin 'Vega' McAveety. This was shot during JIS#1
on 7/30/99 at 2 o'clock in the morning.
The mission was during December 1999 on Discovery and was designated STS-103. Training for the mission occurred with Joint Integrated Simulations (JISs) involving people on their stations and consoles just like it would occur in the mission.
At the final hardware walkdown at the Kennedy Space Center on 9/11/99.
The ring that I am standing next to is the location where the HST
will be fastened to the Shuttle during the mission. It is
placed onto this point by the Shuttle robot arm.
This is the crew entry hatch for the orbiter. You can see the 'Discovery' on the
shroud covering the hatch on the left. Also note the blue placard on the
entry pedestal. It reads: STS-103 (the mission designation), Discovery (name
of the orbiter), and OV-103 (the disignator for Discovery).
Standing underneath the three big main engines of the shuttle. The striped object
in the left background is one of the Solid Rocket Boosters.
Standing next to the exterior of the flight deck. The name of the orbiter
appears on the outside by the crew window.
We saw the rollout of the next shuttle mission, STS-99. The massive crawler transports the
Shuttle atop of the Mobile Launch Platform. Note the size of cars. This crawler moves at
a slow walking pace (about 1mph).
STS-103 on launch day. Since they were about to tank up (note cap on the External
Tank) access was very limited. I shot this thru a pair of binoculars!
This is the image without the binoculars. Shot with Frank 'Cepi' Cepollina,
the head of Hubble Servicing.
One of the persons viewing the launch had a REALLY big lens (Thane Taylor) and
Christopher wanted to look into it. It was about as big as he was.
The launch was at night so it was very spectacular.
View of the launch shot through Thane's big lens.
After a few nights of working planning shift (where we lay out the next day's space walk and tests),
we were PRETENDING to sleep for this picture. From left to right:
Jill Holte, Kevin McAveety, Pete Salerno, Nick Jedrich, Ray Lundquist,
John Nidhiry, Bob Harm, and me. The mission lasted thru Christmas.