Spaceflight Now: STS-103 Mission Report
Photo Gallery:
Hubble deployed

Posted: December 25, 1999

The repaired and enhanced Hubble Space Telescope was released from the grasp of shuttle Discovery on Christmas Day to resume its observations of the universe. Hubble spent four days attached to Discovery during this third servicing mission. Images from NASA.

A fixed telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope sits on a table platform aboard Discovery on Sunday. The craft was restored to working order after three days of spacewalks to repair the broken pointing system and replace aging electronics.
Let me loose
Hubble's solar arrays are moved to the correct position for deployment. The telescope is ready to resume its science mission after a two-month hiatus caused by the crippled precision pointing system.
Let me go
A firm hold
French astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy lifts Hubble out of the payload using Discovery's 50-foot robotic arm.
In position
Hubble is maneuvered to the proper position for release. And for the first time since before the safe mode started two months ago, the aperture door atop the telescope is opened.
Clervoy deploys the Hubble Space Telescope back into orbit about 373 miles above the South Pacific.
On its way
Discovery begins backing away from Hubble after the deployment. The telescope is back on its own and under control of the new gyroscopes installed by the astronauts.
On its way
See you later
Hubble as seen several hundred feet away from Discovery. The next time humans will get a close up view of the telescope will be on the next servicing mission in the summer of 2001.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Payload: HST Servicing Mission-3A
Launch date: Dec. 20, 1999
Launch window: 0050-0132 GMT (1950-2032 EST Dec. 19)
Launch site: LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Landing date: Dec. 27, 1999
Landing time: 2221 GMT (1721 EST)
Landing site: SLF, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Photo gallery
Third spacewalk - views from Friday's spacewalk.

Second spacewalk - views from Thursday's spacewalk.

First spacewalk - views from Wednesday's spacewalk.

Retrieval - Images from Tuesday's rendezvous and capture of Hubble.

Launch - Images from Sunday's countdown and launch.

Video vault
British born astronaut Michael Foale removes Hubble's old computer during the second spacewalk of the mission.
  PLAY (450k QuickTime file)

Space shuttle Discovery launches on STS-103 for the third mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
  PLAY (596k QuickTime file)

Discovery's solid rocket boosters peel away from the shuttle's external fuel tank just over two minutes into flight.
  PLAY (218k QuickTime file)

The STS-103 crew depart their crew quarters on Sunday afternoon headed for launch pad 39B.
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NASA Launch Director Dave King announces that the first launch attempt on Friday was scrubbed because of bad weather.
  PLAY (253k QuickTime file)

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