From Academic Kids

This is a mission of the United States Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle program
Mission Insignia

Mission Statistics
Shuttle:Discovery (Space Shuttle)
Launch Pad:39-A
Launch:February 11, 1997 3:55:17 am.
Landing:February 21, 1997
3:32 am EST. Landing at KSC Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) Runway 33
Duration:9 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes, 09 seconds.
Orbit Altitude:360 statute miles
Orbit Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Distance Traveled:6.5 million miles
Crew photo
Missing image

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Mission Parameters

Space walks

  • Lee and Smith - EVA 1
  • EVA 1 Start: February 14, 1997 - 04:34 UTC
  • EVA 1 End: February 14, - 11:16 UTC
  • Duration: 6 hours, 42 minutes
  • Harbaugh and Tanner - EVA 2
  • EVA 2 Start: February 15, 1997 - 03:25 UTC
  • EVA 2 End: February 15, - 10:52 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 27 minutes
  • Lee and Smith - EVA 3
  • EVA 3 Start: February 16, 1997 - 02:53 UTC
  • EVA 3 End: February 16, - 10:04 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 11 minutes
  • Harbaugh and Tanner - EVA 4
  • EVA 4 Start: February 17, 1997 - 03:45 UTC
  • EVA 4 End: February 17, - 10:19 UTC
  • Duration: 6 hours, 34 minutes
  • Lee and Smith - EVA 5
  • EVA 5 Start: February 18, 1997 - 03:15 UTC
  • EVA 5 End: February 18, - 18:32 UTC
  • Duration: 5 hours, 17 minutes

Mission Objectives

The STS-82 mission was the second in a series of planned servicing missions to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope (HST). HST was placed in orbit on April 24th, 1990 by the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-31. The first servicing mission was done by Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-61. Work performed on the telescope significantly upgraded the scientific capabilities of the HST and helped to keep the telescope functioning smoothly until the next scheduled servicing missions, which were STS-103 in 1999 and STS-109 in 2002.

Starting on the third day of the mission, the seven-member crew were to conduct four spacewalks (also called Extravehicular Activities or EVAs) to remove two older instruments and install two new astronomy instruments, as well as other servicing tasks. The two older instruments being replaced are the Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer and the Faint Object Spectrograph. Replacing these instruments are the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). HST's current complement of science instruments includes two cameras, two spectrographs, and fine guidance sensors.

In addition to installing the new instruments, astronauts will replace other existing hardware with upgrades and spares. Hubble received a refurbished Fine Guidance Sensor, an optical device that is used on HST to provide pointing information for the spacecraft and is used as a scientific instrument for astrometric science. The Solid State Recorder (SSR) will replace one of HST's current reel-to-reel tape recorders. The SSR provides much more flexibility than a reel-to-reel recorder and can store ten times more data. One of Hubble's four Reaction Wheel Assemblies (RWA) will be replaced with a refurbished spare. The RWA is part of Hubble's Pointing Control Subsystem. The RWAs use spin momentum to move the telescope into position. The wheels also maintain the spacecraft in a stable position. The wheel axes are oriented so that the telescope can provide science with only three wheels operating, if required.

Mission Results

STS-82 demonstrated anew the capability of the Space Shuttle to service orbiting spacecraft as well as the benefits of human spaceflight. The crew completed servicing and upgrading of the Hubble Space Telescope during four planned extravehicular activities (EVAs) and then performed a fifth unscheduled space walk to repair insulation on the telescope.

HST deployed in April 1990 during STS-31. It was designed to undergo periodic servicing and upgrading over its 15-year lifespan, with first servicing performed during STS-61 in December 1993. Hawley, who originally deployed the telescope, operated the orbiter Remote Manipulator System arm on STS-82 to retrieve HST for second servicing at 3:34 a.m. EST, Feb. 13, and positioned it in payload bay less than half an hour later.

Relying on more than 150 tools and crew aids, Lee and Smith performed EVAs 1, 3 and 5, and Harbaugh and Tanner did EVAs 2 and 4. EVA 1 began at 11:34 p.m. EST, February 13th, and lasted six hours, 42 minutes. One of Hubble's solar arrays was unexpectedly disturbed by gust of air from Discovery's airlock when it was depressurized, but was not damaged. Lee and Smith removed two scientific instruments from Hubble, the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) and Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS), and replaced them with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), respectively. STIS expected to shed further light on supermassive black holes. NICMOS features more capable infrared detectors and will give astronomers their first clear view of the universe at near infrared wavelengths between 0.8 and 2.5 micrometers.

EVA 2 began at 10:25 p.m., February 14th, and lasted seven hours, 27 minutes. Harbaugh and Tanner replaced a degraded Fine Guidance Sensor and a failed Engineering and Science Tape Recorder with new spares. Also installed a new unit called the Optical Control Electronics Enhancement Kit, which will further increase the capability of the Fine Guidance Sensor. During this EVA astronauts noted cracking and wear on thermal insulation on side of telescope facing sun and in the direction of travel.

EVA 3 began at 9:53 p.m., February 15th, and lasted seven hours, 11 minutes. Lee and Smith removed and replaced a Data Interface Unit on Hubble, as well as an old reel-to-reel- style Engineering and Science Tape Recorder with a new digital Solid State Recorder (SSR) that will allow simultaneous recording and playback of data. Also changed out one of four Reaction Wheel Assembly units that use spin momentum to move telescope toward a target and maintain it in a stable position. After this EVA, mission managers decided to add EVA 5 to repair the thermal insulation on HST.

EVA 4 began at 10:45 p.m., February 16th, and lasted six hours, 34 minutes. Harbaugh and Tanner replaced a Solar Array Drive Electronics package which controls the positioning of Hubble's solar arrays. Also replaced covers over Hubble's magnetometers and placed thermal blankets of multi-layer material over two areas of degraded insulation around the light shield portion of the telescope just below the top of the observatory. Meanwhile, inside Discovery Horowitz and Lee worked on the middeck to fabricate new insulation blankets for HST.

Final space walk, EVA 5, lasted five hours, 17 minutes. Lee and Smith attached several thermal insulation blankets to three equipment compartments at the top of the Support Systems Module section of the telescope which contain key data processing, electronics and scientific instrument telemetry packages. STS-82 EVA total of 33 hours, 11 minutes is about two hours shy of total EVA time recorded on first servicing mission.

Discovery's maneuvering jets fired several times during mission to reboost telescope's orbit by eight nautical miles. Hubble redeployed on Feb. 19 at 1:41 a.m. and is now operating at the highest altitude it has ever flown, a 335- by 321-nautical-mile orbit. Initial checkout of new instruments and equipment during mission showed all were performing nominally. Calibration of two new science instruments was to take place over a period of several weeks with first images and data anticipated in about eight to 10 weeks.

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