Servicing Mission 3B was actually the fourth visit to Hubble. NASA split the original Servicing Mission 3 into two parts and conducted 3A in December of 1999.
During SM3B a new science instrument will be installed: the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Several other activities were accomplished as well over a 12-day mission with 5 spacewalks.
Four astronauts trained for five scheduled spacewalks to upgrade and service the Hubble Space Telescope during the STS-109 mission in early 2002. Three veteran astronauts, John M.Grunsfeld, James H. Newman, and Richard M. Linnehan, were joined by Michael J. Massimino, who will be making his first space flight.
Grunsfeld had flown three times, STS-67 in 1995, STS-81 in 1997, and STS-103 in 1999 when he performed two spacewalks to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Newman, veteran of three space flights, STS-51 in 1993, STS-69 in 1995, and STS-88 in 1998, had conducted four previous spacewalks. Linnehan had flown on STS-78 in 1996 and STS-90 in 1998. Massimino is a member of the 1996 astronaut class.
Scott Altman, (Cmdr., USN), a two-time shuttle veteran, commanded the STS-109 mission. He was joined on the flight deck by pilot Duane Carey, (Lt. Col., USAF), making his first space flight, and flight engineer Nancy Currie (Lt. Col, USA, Ph.D.). Currie had three previous space flights to her credit.
The 11-day mission rejuvenated the Hubble Space Telescope in a series of five spacewalks. After grasping the telescope and pulling it into the payload bay, the spacewalkers, assisted by Mission Specialist Nancy Jane Currie operating the shuttle's robotic arm, installed new and improved equipment that gave the telescope more power, a new module to dispense the power, and a cameral able to see twice as much area, with more speed and clarity. They also installed an experimental cooling system in hope of restoring life to the Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer. Columbia performed perfectly.
STS-109 Flight Day Highlights Day 3-4, March 03-04, 2002
Hubble Space Telescope, Space Shuttle Columbia, Servicing Mission 3B, EVA No. 1: 7 hours, 1 minute -- Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld and Rick Linnehan removed the old starboard solar array from Hubble and installed in its place a new third-generation solar array. The two spacewalkers were maneuvered around Columbia's payload bay and Hubble telescope by the shuttle's robotic arm, manipulated by Mission Specialist Nancy Currie. From the aft flight deck of Columbia, astronauts Michael Massimino and James Newman assisted the spacewalkers throughout their tasks. The old solar array was stored in Columbia's payload bay for return to Earth and evaluation of its nine-year performance.
STS-109 Flight Day Highlights Day 5-6, March 05-06, 2002
EVA No. 2: 7 hours, 16 minutes -- Mission Specialists Newman and Massimino installed a new port solar array and a new Reaction Wheel Assembly on Hubble after removing the old solar array. Again, the spacewalkers used the robotic arm to get to and from the worksite. Newman and Massimino also had time to install a thermal blanket on Bay 6, door stop extensions on Bay 5, and foot restraints to prepare for the third spacewalk by Grunsfeld and Linnehan. Testing two bolts on the telescope's aft shroud doors, they determined that bottom two bolts required replacement and they completed that task. EVA No. 3: 6 hours, 48 minutes -- A water leak in Grunsfeld's spacesuit delayed the start of the third EVA. After swapping the upper portion of the suit, he and Linnehan began work to replace the original, 12-year-old Power Control Unit with a new one capable of handling the extra 20 percent of power output being generated from the newly installed solar panels.
STS-109 Flight Day Highlights Day 7, March 07, 2002
EVA No. 4: 7 hours, 18 minutes -- Mission Specialists James Newman and Michael Massimino completed the first science instrument upgrade of the servicing mission by installing the Advanced Camera for Surveys -- it replaced the original Faint Object Camera. Afterward, Massimino installed the Electronic Support Module, the first part of an experimental cooling system to be installed on EVA No. 5.
STS-109 Flight Day Highlights Day 8-9, March 08-09, 2002
EVA No. 5: 7 hours, 32 minutes -- On the final spacewalk, Mission Specialists Grunsfeld and Linnehan removed the NICMOS cryocooler from its carrier in the payload bay and installed it inside the aft shroud, connecting cables from the Electronics Support Module. They retrieved the Cooling System Radiator from the payload bay and installed it on the outside of Hubble. Linnehan fed the radiator wires through the bottom of the telescope to Grunsfeld, who connected them to NICMOS.