Hubble servicing mission now scheduled for May 12, 2009
Posted By Emily Lakdawalla
2008/12/04 04:02 CST
NASA just announced (in their third press release today) that the Hubble Servicing Mission is now rescheduled for May 12, 2009. (See this post for the history of the delay of this mission.) The release states that "The final servicing mission to Hubble was delayed in September when a data handling unit on the telescope failed. Since then, engineers have been working to prepare a spare for flight. They expect to be able to ship the spare, known as the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling System, to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in spring 2009."
I checked the rest of the launch manifest and it's mostly unchanged except that they had to swap shuttles on a couple missions later in 2009 to account for the flight of Atlantis in May. It appears that it'll be Endeavour standing beside Atlantis on the second Shuttle launch pad when Atlantis launches, available to serve as a rescue flight should something go badly wrong on the Hubble Servicing Mission, since Atlantis' position at Hubble would preclude its astronauts from taking refuge in the International Space Station, which has a much different orbit.