Fourth Servicing Mission to HST (SM4) Page 7

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Post Mission Picnic

We had a picnic at the Goddard Recreation Center with the whole Hubble team and the crew on 7/19/09, a few months after the mission.

We had a nice BBQ lunch with the crew, and they lined up for autographs for us.

Christopher is here with Dr. John on the left (lead spacewalker),
and Scooter (Commander).

Our boss, Frank Cepollina, the head of Hubble Servicing spoke to thank the crew for

Examination of the returned hardware

This is the Science Data Computer which failure caused the delay in October 2008.
We had the task of finding the fault that caused it to stop operation.

Here is the zoomed-in tag on the box.  It was originally built by Fairchild, and
lasted 18 years in space.  Way beyond the intended design life.

The failure in this unit was traced to a bad 8x300 processor chip in the Science
Data Formatter section of the box.  The board with this chip is shown below.

The failed chip is the large one on the left with the two temperature sensors glued
onto it.  The clear coating you see is common on all space flight boards, and protects the
components from corrosion (while on the ground), and shorts by floating metal.

Another returned item is the old outer blanket layer on the Hubble doors.  We examined these a few months after the mission.  These blankets have been on the doors of Hubble for more than 19 years, and represent a treasure trove of on-orbit data.

Here we are in Building 30 (Materials Branch) opening up the bag that John Grunsfeld
used to stuff the old thermal blanket during the mission.

View of the corner of the thermal blanket.  Hubble (and any other spacecraft) gets
bombarded by micro meteorites that blast through space with great energy. 
The yellow splotch that you see in the lower right is a location where
one blasted through the thermal blanket layers.

The above image shows a micro meteorite impact.  These blankets are Teflon and Kapton sheets with an silver vapor deposited finish.  As a result, they have a bright appearance.  However, in the above impact case, the meteorite was able to blast the silver coating off around the impact hole.  The hole itself is the dark oval shape area in the yellow zone.

Some specks of the silver teflon blanketing broke off, and I was allowed to keep these.
These specks are material that spent 19 years in space!

The broken handrail

During the repair of the STIS instrument, one handrail would not come loose.  So astronaut Mike Massimino had to break the handrail to proceed with the repair.  Below is the image of the bolt that he broke to remove the handrail.  Note the white fatigued appearance of the bolt's end.

The bolt that Mike Massimino broke during the mission.

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