Monday, January 7, 2013

Out of the World Came Within Reach

Discovery was our team’s mantra
by Jon A.

Going to work for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in 1980, I never thought I would play a role in the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). From 1987 to 1990, I served as project leader for the nickel-hydrogen (Ni-H2) battery design activities for the HST electrical power system. Ni-H2 batteries were launched in place of baseline nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries. Ni-Cd batteries would have required servicing mission replacement every three to five years, but HST’s Ni-H2 batteries did not require replacement until Servicing Mission 4 (SM4) in 2009. The decision to use Ni-H2 batteries saved NASA millions of dollars and allowed many HST system components to be launched on other servicing missions, extending the life of the satellite and quality of the pictures and information that are so important to our understanding of the beginning of the universe. The company employees who worked on the HST satellite should be very proud of their contributions!