After a spectacular night launch, the Shuttle completed its rendezvous with Hubble Space Telescope on February 13. Over the next four days five spacewalks were undertaken to renovate Hubble.
The Hubble Space Telescope was released back into orbit at 06:41 GMT on February 19. Discovery landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 08:32 GMT on February 21.
After the OMS 2 burn Discovery was in a 350 x 579 km x 28.5 deg orbit; later on February 11 perigee was raised to 480 km and on February 12 it was in a 576 x 584 km orbit. The Hubble Space Telescope was in a 589 x 598 km x 28.5 deg orbit. The Shuttle completed its rendezvous with Hubble on February 13. Steve Hawley used the RMS arm to grapple HST at 08:34 GMT and by shortly after 09:00 GMT the telescope was docked to the FSS (Flight Support Structure) in the aft part of the cargo bay. Over the next four days five spacewalks were undertaken to renovate Hubble.
On February 14 astronauts Mark Lee and Steven Smith carried out spacewalk EVA-1 to install the STIS and NICMOS science instruments. The spacewalkers discovered potentially serious rips in Hubble's insulation, caused by degradation over the seven years the material has been in orbit. An orbital debris puncture in an antenna was also noticed. EVA-2, by Greg Harbaugh and Joe Tanner, replaced the Fine Guidance Sensor in a 7h 26m spacewalk. EVA-3, by Lee and Smith, made a 7h 11m walk to install a new computer and data recorder. EVA-4 was 6h 34m and saw installation of new electronics and covers on the magnetometer sensors, plus initial repairs to the insulation. EVA-5 involved more insulation repairs; the astronauts then spent some time in the airlock awaiting word on whether an extra gyro replacement would be needed, before finally cleaning up the payload bay and repressurizing after a 5h 17m walk. No sixth spacewalk was needed; a suspect Reaction Wheel Assembly has tested out and did not need to be replaced.
Developmental Test Objectives / Detailed Supplementary Objectives
PAYLOAD AND VEHICLE WEIGHTS: Orbiter (Discovery) empty and 3 SSME's: 82,952 kg; Shuttle System at SRB Ignition: 2,047,270 kg; Orbiter Weight at Landing with Cargo: 96,762 kg; Flight Support System: 2,033 kg; Orbital Replacement Unit Carrier: 3,165 kg; Second Axial Carrier: 2,392 kg; Hubble Space Telescope (while berthed to Discovery) 11,140 kg.