facts about hubble space telescope by jongordo

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									Hubble Facts
National Aeronautics and
Space Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771

                                                                                   FS-1999-06-018-GSFC


              Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 3A
SPACE TELESCOPE OPERATIONS CONTROL CENTER

Inside the Hubble Command Center                      February 1995 to improve Hubble’s overall per-
    Working 24 hours a day at NASA’s Goddard          formance and drastically reduce the cost of opera-
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., ground         tions and systems maintenance. This effort, called
controllers command and control the Hubble            Vision 2000, goes well beyond replacing outdated
Space Telescope. From the Space Telescope             software and hardware. It streamlines the func-
Operations Control Center or STOCC, as it’s bet-      tional flow, eliminates redundant systems and pro-
ter known, commands are sent to the Telescope to      vides the operators and spacecraft engineers with
direct the observation of astronomical targets, one   a user-friendly interface. Architectural complexity
after another, all across the sky. The Telescope      is greatly reduced by consolidating the functions
sends information to the STOCC that engineers         of the five original systems of spacecraft control,
use to make sure everything is going as planned.      analysis, data management, command manage-
The STOCC is the focal point of all Hubble Space      ment and subsystem calibration into a single sys-
Telescope operations.                                 tem.
    Here Hubble’s operators monitor the                   CCS is very portable. It may be operated in a
Telescope’s health and safety while they control      single computer mode at a user facility or in a high
flight operations and engineering and science         performance multi-computer mode, the configura-
activities. One section of the STOCC supports the     tion used in the STOCC. Currently 25 CCS strings
preparation, test and simulation for the next ser-    support a broad range of activities including:
vicing mission, while routine operations continue     operations; servicing mission simulations; pay-
simultaneously in an adjacent area. In another        load and spacecraft flight software development;
area, engineers perform in-depth subsystem analy-     operator training; procedure development and ver-
sis, conduct simulated subsystem tests, integrate     ification; software maintenance and test; new
new databases, and validate new ground software       spacecraft hardware test and integration at
and updates to flight software.                       Goddard Space Flight Center and science instru-
                                                      ment development at Ball Aerospace in Colorado.
Fulfilling a Vision                                   Users can customize their string’s databases to suit
    In February 1999, the mission operations team     their particular application. Some of the advanced
began using the new Control Center System             performance features of CCS are identified below.
(CCS) to command and control Hubble. CCS is               CCS automates engineering telemetry man-
the culmination of a massive reengineering of         agement, including the merging of real-time and
both the flight and ground system begun in            stored spacecraft data, thereby reducing the delay
in obtaining this data for analysis and trouble        berthing platform to allow easy access to the
shooting from 6-48 hrs to 0-8 hrs. In the past, this   equipment bays.
process has involved as many as sixteen people;            After the new equipment is installed, STOCC
that number is now reduced to zero.                    ground controllers will command tests on the
    At all times, controllers have instant access to   newly installed items. These tests will be done
six months of telemetry data, stored either on-line    immediately after installation, with the crew posi-
or in data warehouse. CCS provides approximate-        tioned at a safe location, to determine if the
ly 300 users concurrent access to Hubble Space         installed equipment will require any further astro-
Telescope data via an advanced, interactive graph-     naut activity. Later, while the crew sleeps, the
ical interface to perform monitoring and analysis.     STOCC team will perform more detailed function-
The operators can obtain visual displays of any        al checkouts of the installed equipment to deter-
requested telemetry, produce graphs and perform        mine if further work is necessary.
analysis on the data in near real-time at the con-         After all servicing is completed, Hubble and
soles.                                                 Discovery will be configured for battery charging.
                                                       The Shuttle crew will transfer the Telescope to
The Team Behind the Telescope                          internal power, disconnect the power feed, and
     Just as the astronauts have trained extensively   using the robotic arm, position Hubble for deploy-
for the upcoming 1999 servicing mission, so too        ment. The STOCC will command the deployment
has Hubble’s Flight Operations Team in the             of the high gain antennas and opening of the aper-
STOCC. Shortly after launch, this team will pre-       ture door. All equipment powered off for servicing
pare Hubble for the on-orbit service call. They will   will be reactivated and checked out. Hubble will
begin by transitioning the Telescope from normal       then be released. Operational re-commissioning of
science operations to a “ready for servicing” con-     the telescope will take place, and normal science
dition.                                                operations will resume.
     The team will command Hubble to its capture
attitude and configure it for rendezvous with the
Space Shuttle Discovery. They will command                 FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Hubble’s aperture door to close and the high gain                         CONTACT
antennas to be stowed in preparation for capture
by the Shuttle’s robotic arm and berthing in the          Nancy Neal
payload bay. The solar arrays will remain                 Goddard Space Flight Center
deployed and following berthing, Hubble’s power           Office of Public Affairs
will be provided by the Shuttle. To aid astronauts        (301) 286-0039
in their servicing tasks, the Telescope will then be
rotated to several different positions on its

								
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