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The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-125
Payload: HST SM-4
Launch: May 11, 2009
Time: 2:01 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: May 24 @ 11:39 a.m. EDT
Site: Edwards Air Force Base, California

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STS-125 Video Coverage

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Video archive

STS-125: The mission

A detailed step-by-step preview of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to extend the life and vision of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: The EVAs

The lead spacewalk officer provides indepth explanations of the five EVAs to service Hubble during Atlantis' flight.

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STS-125: The crew

The seven shuttle Atlantis astronauts hold a press conference one month before their planned launch to Hubble.

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STS-125: NASA leaders

The leaders of NASA's Space Operations and Science directorates give their insights into the upcoming shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: Shuttle boss

The head of NASA's space shuttle program discusses the risks and plans for Atlantis' trek to Hubble.

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The Hubble program

An overview of the Hubble Space Telescope program and the planning that has gone into the final servicing mission.

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Hubble's future science

The new instruments to be installed into Hubble and the future science objectives for the observatory are previewed.

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Meet the Hubble crew

Meet the crew launching on Atlantis' STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope and learn how each became an astronaut in this special biography movie.

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Shuttle heat shield in good shape for entry
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: May 13, 2009;
Updated at 8:10 p.m.

NASA's Mission Management Team late Wednesday completed an initial assessment of the shuttle Atlantis' heat-shield tiles, blankets, reinforced carbon carbon nose cap and wing leading edge panels and decided no additional "focused" inspections will be needed until the end of the mission.

One small area of 16 tiles on the left side of the fuselage near the nose was not fully inspected because of a camera tracking overlap problem, but flight controllers told the crew those tiles could be inspected later, after an upcoming spacewalk, using the camera on the end of the shuttle's robot arm.

"The team's have been working very hard looking at all the data from all the survey work you guys did on flight days one and two and ... I can happily tell you no focused inspection is required," astronaut Alan Poindexter radioed from mission control in Houston.

"Well, that is good news," shuttle commander Scott Altman replied from Atlantis. "I know they had to work basically overtime, full-time, quarter-time, all the time to get all that work done and that data analyzed faster than we've done it before. So we appreciate that, it's great to know that tomorrow we can just focus on the EVA (spacewalk) and not worry about setting up for a focused inspection. So thanks to the team for all the work. We feel very good and confident in this report."

The Atlantis astronauts grappled the Hubble Space Telescope earlier Wednesday, mounting it in the ship's cargo bay for a five-spacewalk repair job. At Hubble's high altitude, the shuttle crew is at slightly higher risk - the mean value is 1-in-229 - from impacts with space debris.

Late Wednesday, flight controllers notified the astronauts they were tracking a 4-inch-long piece of debris from a recent Chinese anti-satellite test that was predicted to pass 1.7 miles in front of the space shuttle. While the debris required close monitoring, the astronauts were not required to carry out any avoidance maneuvers.

But the debris risk is real and LeRoy Cain, chairman of NASA's Mission Management Team, said sensors in the wing leading edge system recorded a presumed space debris impact earlier, on panel No. 11 on Atlantis' right wing. But the magnitude of the impact was an order of magnitude below the threshold that could cause noticeable damage.

"You know we have the wing leading edge impact indication system that we have turned on to monitor for any kind of MMOD (micrometeoroid/orbital debris) or other impacts we might have during the on-orbit phase," Cain said. "It did register an impact, or indications or an impact, on the right-hand side, on panel 11R of the reinforced carbon carbon part of the wing leading edge.

"The indication was .47 Gs. The team evaluated it through the normal screening process. We do think, by all indications as far as we can tell, we do think it's probably a real indication of an impact. ... We're not concerned that it's done any kind of damage that would be any concern to us, certainly not critical damage. We think if anything, just very, very small coating damage. We'll get a look at this area again when we do a late inspection (near the end of the mission) in any case. But this is not an indication we're concerned about at this time."

Asked what sorts of forces would cause real damage for a wing leading edge panel, Cain said "there are many, many different variables. But we're talking, generally speaking, in a number of Gs. This is less than .5 Gs. It's, generally speaking, an order of magnitude greater than what we're seeing here."

During initial inspections of the shuttle's heat shield Tuesday, the Atlantis astronauts downlinked images showing minor tile damage on the shuttle's right wing. Engineers decided Tuesday night the damage was of no consequence and would not require an additional, focused inspection.

"The team came back today and we have essentially cleared all of the TPS (thermal protection system) for the tiles and for the blankets," Cain said. "So essentially, all the TPS save for the RCC (reinforced carbon carbon) we've cleared for entry. We've also said we don't need any focused inspection for any of the TPS."

Shortly after Cain's briefing, the reinforced carbon carbon nose cap and wing leading edge panels were cleared as well.

The only other issue of note, Cain said, was photography showing a fine particulate dusting a handrail and insulation blankets on a carrier box housing the new Wide Field Camera 3 that will be installed in the Hubble Space Telescope during a spacewalk Thursday.

Cain said the white power-like substance was not present before launch and may be some sort of material that shook loose from payload bay bulkhead insulation blankets during the climb to space. Because of concern about possible contamination of the new camera, Cain said the spacewalkers would take extra care to avoid the dust when the camera is removed from its case Thursday.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF MOVING HUBBLE INTO PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS' ROBOT ARM CAPTURES HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST UP CLOSE VIEWS OF HUBBLE IN 7 YEARS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ENGINE FIRING TO CIRCULARIZE ORBIT PLAY
VIDEO: INSIGHTFUL OVERVIEW OF ATLANTIS' MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HUBBLE RENDEZVOUS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM HST CONTROL CENTER PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SLOW-MOTION OF DEBRIS THAT APPARENTLY HIT TILES PLAY
VIDEO: TILE DAMAGE FOUND DURING INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: CAPCOM CALLS CREW ABOUT MINOR DAMAGE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-125 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: FOOTAGE OF FUEL TANK AFTER JETTISON PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY

VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: STS-125 POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF DAY 1 INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FINAL PRE-LAUNCH READINESS POLLS CONDUCTED PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S CREW MODULE HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST MEGAN MCARTHUR BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT GREG JOHNSON BOARDS ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST JOHN GRUNSFELD BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE COMMANDER SCOTT ALTMAN BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF LAUNCH PAD GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY

VIDEO: HUBBLE'S FUTURE AFTER ATLANTIS SERVICING PLAY
VIDEO: TOP DISCOVERIES MADE BY HUBBLE TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: THE ROLLERCOASTER LIFE OF HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: WHAT IS HUBBLE'S PLACE IN HISTORY? PLAY
VIDEO: ENTERTAINING LOOK AT ATLANTIS' CREW PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE HISTORY MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: A TRIBUTE TO THE CAMERA THAT SAVED HUBBLE PLAY
VIDEO: HUBBLE TELESCOPE PROGRAM BRIEFING FROM SUNDAY PLAY

VIDEO: SUNDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-125 PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT THE CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: NEWS BRIEFING FOLLOWING FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: THE STS-125 MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PLAY
VIDEO: REFRESHER BRIEFING: THE SEVEN ASTRONAUTS PLAY

VIDEO: BIOGRAPHY MOVIE OF ATLANTIS' CREW PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER SCOTT ALTMAN PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT GREG JOHNSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 MIKE GOOD PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 MEGAN MCARTHUR PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 JOHN GRUNSFELD PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 MIKE MASSIMINO PLAY | '09 UPDATE
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS5 DREW FEUSTEL PLAY | '09 UPDATE

VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: THE SUN RISES ON ATLANTIS DURING ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS EMERGES FROM ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORBITER VERTICAL FOR MATING TO FUEL TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS MOVES BACK TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ATLANTIS LEAVES LAUNCH PAD 39A IN OCT. PLAY
VIDEO: TIMELAPSE OF THE ROLLBACK GETTING UNDERWAY PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS REHEARSE QUICK SHUTTLE EXIT PLAY
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS ATLANTIS FOR MOCK COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SUITS FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S TRAINING ON ESCAPE BASKETS AND BUNKER PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH PRESS AT LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: CREW TEST DRIVES EMERGENCY PAD ESCAPE VEHICLE PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER AND PILOT PRACTICE LANDING APPROACHES PLAY
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES AT CAPE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: COMMENTS FROM COMMANDER AFTER ARRIVING PLAY

VIDEO: AERIAL VIEWS OF ATLANTIS AND ENDEAVOUR PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE STS-125 MISSION PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE FIVE SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: THE SEVEN ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: NASA LEADERSHIP PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: SHUTTLE PROGRAM BOSS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: HUBBLE OVERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING: HUBBLE SCIENCE PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE ARRIVES ATOP PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS EMERGES FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ATLANTIS' ROLLOUT TO LAUNCH PAD PLAY

VIDEO: ATLANTIS ROLLS FROM HANGAR TO VAB PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS LIFTED INTO PLACE FOR ATTACHMENT PLAY
MORE: STS-125 VIDEO COVERAGE
NEW! HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO
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