Fourth Servicing Mission to HST (SM4) Page 6

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Post Mission - O's game with the astronaut crew

After their return from space, we attended a Baltimore Orioles game with the crew of STS-125.  It was against the Seattle Mariners in June 2009. 

Scooter at the Baltimore Orioles game
This is with Scott Altman, the commander of the mission.

Click here for the images of this fun event.

Pictures by my coworker Mark Faber on another
HST astronaut event (picnic 7/19/09)

First light and first observations

Weeks after launch, on June 10, 2009, we gathered to oversee the cooldown of
the detectors using our Thermo-Electric Coolers.  This is the core of the
WFC3 team shown here gathered at the Space Telescope Operations
Control Center (STOCC).

One of the main worries was the transient and settling response of the various coolers.
Here you see the temperature plot of the UVIS detector.  As you can see, it settled
nicely into its setpoint at the end.

Click here for the first phase of IR cooldown.

Click here for the second phase and zoom-in of IR cooldown.
Note the nice settle into the setpoint.

The science data from Hubble is processed here in Baltimore MD at
the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The event where the first light from the stars is imaged by a new telescope or science instrument is called "first light".  This is a momentous event, where we get to see the first image that is taken by the new hardware.  I was privileged to be invited to the first light event of two of the four instruments that were repaired and installed on this mission.

I had the privilege of being invited to the first light event of the repaired
ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) instrument.  This took place on
Saturday June 13 at noon.

Here is the first light observation.  I have obscured the image, as it will
not be shown publicly until September 2009.  The image was of
the galaxy "NGC 6217".

For the WFC3 first light, we were in the main auditorium, as
the crowd was a little bigger.

The introductory presentation was by one of the two instrument scientist,
John MacKenty.  The other (Randy Kimble) can be seen in the image,
he is the third from the right.

We were all very excited and realized that this culminated many years of work.

Here I stand next to a very tight zoom of the image.  The galaxy has been
greyed out because this image is also embargoed
until the fall of 2009.  It is of the M81 Galaxy.
Update: Here is the offical released version of this image.

We all signed a hardcopy of the image, and it will be framed and hung in the
Science Institute.

In July 2009, during our initial setup and calibration of WFC3, the world of astronomy was shaken up by the discovery of an impact on Jupiter.  Despite our being not quite sharply focused (optically), we drop the scheduled operations and directed our gaze to the planet to capture the event.  Here is a link to that image.  The first publically released WFC3 image.

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(c) 2009, Edward Cheung, all rights reserved.