Space Shuttle Atlantis which will launch on May 12 will be an 11-day mission to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This mission will be the final shuttle mission to this site. The crew’s mission will be a busy one as they perform 5 spacewalks in order to put in place advanced technology that will improve the Hubble’s discovery power by 10 to 70 times.
They will also install new instruments and thermal blankets, repair two existing instruments, replace gyroscopes, and batteries and a unit that stores and transmits science data to Earth. These new additions will supposedly extend the lifespan of the telescope until 2014.
The Space Shuttle Endeavor’s mission, which begins three days later and includes 5 spacewalks will be to deliver the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section to the International Space Station.
The facility will provide a space for experiments in the exposed environment, and a robotic arm that will be attached to the Kibo Pressurized Module and used to position experiments outside the station. The Endeavor will also deliver Timothy L. Kopra to the International Space Station as a flight engineer and science officer and return Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata to Earth.
For more information about this mission visit: www.nasa.gov