Last line for the Hubble Space Telescope

United States - Launched in April 1990, the now famous Hubble Claim for one last mission of 5 years. This is the shuttle Atlantis which will give the coming days, a final blow to a young space telescope.

At 20:01 tonight, Atlantis lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for a trip of 11 days. Destination: the Hubble Space Telescope, launched into orbit about 600 kilometers from the Earth's surface. And the journey not only looks easy ...

Indeed, it is a high-risk mission that awaits the seven astronauts who will take place this evening on board Atlantis. Why? Because of Hubble's orbit very far from that of the International Space Station is located 350 kilometers, increasing by 25% the risk of collision with the shuttle debris or micrometeorites. Space Shuttle Endeavor was also positioned on the shooting of Kennedy Space Center, ready to fly in case of problems.

The challenge of this mission: to provide Hubble with a capacity to monitor 10 to 70 times greater, and lifetime extended until 2014. For this purpose, five orbital trips are planned, each lasting 6 to 7 hours. Program: Installation of brand new batteries, new gyroscopes and printed circuits, revision of the thermal protection and reconfiguration of the system backup. New instruments (Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3) should also help give a new (and last) Youth Hubble.

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