STS-103: return to Hubble

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Discovery lifts off on an eight-day mission to retrieve, service and redeploy the Hubble Space Telescope. This routine planned upgrade for Hubble sees the shuttle crew swapping out the $2,000,000,000 telescope’s CPU, installing a new one with 20 times the processing power of the original, during an eight-hour spacewalk; another eight-hour spacewalk sees crewmembers removing an analog data recorder to replace it with a digital device with greater capacity. Christmas 1999 is spent placing Hubble back into its orbit. Aboard Discovery for her 27th flight are Commander Curtis Brown, Pilot Scott Kelly, and mission specialists Steven Smith, Michael Foale, John Grunsfield, Claude Nicollier and Jean-Francois Clervoy.