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Atlantis Captures Hubble Telescope

Space shuttle Atlantis met up with the Hubble Space Telescope today. The grapple of the telescope using the shuttle’s robotic arm took place at 1:14 p.m. EDT.

The telescope will be latched to a high-tech, “lazy Susan” device known as the Flight Support System for the duration of the servicing work.

The STS-125 crew will perform five spacewalks to refurbish, restore and renew the Hubble Space Telescope. The first spacewalk is scheduled for Thursday.

Engineers continue to examine the images captured during Tuesday’s inspection of Atlantis’ thermal protection system and exterior surfaces. During that inspection, mission managers noted one area of damage on the forward part of the spacecraft where the wing blends into the fuselage. Initially it appears to be very minor and of no concern for the mission, and the flight team notified the crew late Tuesday that no focused inspection of that particular area is necessary.

Using cameras on the shuttle's robotic arm, the crew is now doing a full inspection of the telescope's exterior to examine its condition since it was last serviced in March 2002.

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