NICMOS Cryocooler 

At the Kennedy Space Center

At the Kennedy Space Center, our home was the Vertical Processing Facility.
Here we integrated the Cooler onto the carrier in preparation for installation into
the Orbiter.

View into the NCC after installation onto the carrier, and the final preparations are
being done to get ready for closeout.  Photo shot in the VPF.  For more, see the Mission Page.

After the VPF, we are moved by Canister to the launch pad.  Here is the view from
the PCR.  Note the purge cart that we use to keep the NCC dry is on the left.
The NCC is above it at the end of the plumbing lines.
The Orbiter Bay can be seen in the background.


For launch pictures, see the Mission Page.

Installation into the Hubble Space Telescope

View from the astronaut helmet camera while he is using the power tool to remove NCC from the

While being moved by the robot arm, the astronaut moves the NCC from the carrier to HST.
Note the view of the Orbiter in the background.  A portion of the wing is visible in the top right.

After the NCC is installed, the radiator is retrieved and then mounted to the side of HST.  More on the
radiator on the ARUBA page.

Post Mission Operations

After almost five years of development, we finally started the NCC on March 16, 2002.
This photo shot at the Space Telescope Operations Control Center, from where HST is
controlled.  From left to right : Walt Swift (turbo machines), Frank Dolan (turbo machines),
Mark Kaylor (radiator), Frank Cepollina (head of HST development), Mark Buchko (radiator),
Will Clement (software), myself (electrical), Darryl Zimbelman (systems), Nick Jedrich (systems).

The computer screen showing the first start of the NCC inside HST.  The blue line on the bottom trace is
the compressor speed, the green line is the turbo-alternator speed.  The rising edge is the start event.

All this effort for this and other beautiful images like it.
NICMOS' first set of images was released June 5, 2002.
Official site for NICMOS new images.

On August 27, 2002, the Project had a cake making contest to celebrate the 100 billionth revolution
of the cooler, and many successful months and images.  Agnes and I entered the contest
with this cake, and we won "Best Cooling System Theme".  The two round spirals on the cake
represented the turbines, and we hid a motor inside the cake spin them 'round and 'round(!).
Note the depiction of the cooling and circulation loop on the cake.  NICMOS (black) is on the left,
and the radiator (white) is on the right.

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