Intrepid Museum Programs and Exhibitions
Rainbow Band
Purchase Tickets
Home > November 2014 > Astronauts Shared Memories of Hubble and STS-125 at the Intrepid Museum
Astronauts Shared Memories of Hubble and STS-125 at the Intrepid Museum
Posted: 11/13/2014 11:10:28 AM

Last Mission
On Wednesday, November 12, the Intrepid Museum hosted the astronauts from STS-125 Atlantis for a panel discussion on the Last Mission to Hubble.

Panelists included mission commander Scott D. Altman, pilot Gregory C. Johnson, and mission specialists John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Megan McArthur Behnken and Michael Good. Journalist and former ABC news anchor Charlie Gibson moderated the panel. Gibson last interviewed the crew in 2009 while they were aboard Atlantis.

When space shuttle Atlantis launched in May 2009, all involved knew this STS-125 repair mission would be the final visit to the Hubble Space Telescope. It was the last chance to upgrade its systems and install new equipment, including a new Wide Field Camera, and, if successful, to ensure its operational future for years to come.

The panelists discussed everything from the feeling of spacewalking to bonding as a crew to space science and faith.

Michael Good shared how he felt after doing his first ever spacewalk, working with Mike Massimino.
"Most of the time, your focus is two to three feet in front of your face, with your nose in the telescope,” he said. “But as I came out the airlock that first time, I looked out through the payload bay doors at the earth. From up there, you can tell it's a planet. You can see the whole horizon and the thin blue atmosphere around it. It's incredibly beautiful. Everything up there is in high definition.”

Charlie Gibson, who covered much of STS-125 for ABC news, asked the crew what they thought was Hubble’s greatest impact, noting, “Hubble put the universe on the wall in every science classroom in schools across the country and all over the world.”

"I'm not an astronomer. My answer is not in the technical area for astronomy,” Megan McArthur Behnken responded. “But the telescope was designed to answer specific questions about unlocking the mysteries of the universe. It has extended our ability to explore the universe in a way that we weren't smart enough to know about when we started."

John Grunsfeld and Scott Altman both highlighted the crew on the ground and all those who worked on Hubble when it originally launched, up through planning robotic servicing missions to Hubble that helped STS-125 when they were able to go into space.

"Hubble is a heritage of people who worked on it for so much of their lifetimes,” John said. “We got to work with and meet people who were walking Hubble encyclopedias."

“We put a lot of talent together [on the mission] and everybody tried to use that to the best of their abilities to make things work,” Scott added. “But it's not just us up here; it's a huge group of folks on the ground too.”

The panelists shared stories of how they would work with the ground crew, including trying to confuse the team so they could get up early and get more work done. The seven-person crew also grew close by taking a 10-day kayaking trip in Alaska before the mission and working and practicing together in the neutral buoyancy lab. Gibson also asked if the panelists would go back to space (consensus: yes) and if space colonization would be possible one day (Mike Good: yes, but not in my lifetime). The panel concluded with a Q&A session from the audience.

The Last Mission to Hubble panel discussion is the first in a series of events around the Museum’s new HUBBLE@25 exhibition, which is now open in the Space Shuttle Pavilion through September 14, 2015. The next event is a conversation between science journalist Miles O’Brien and photographer Michael Soluri, who had exclusive, behind-the-scenes access at NASA during preparations for the STS-125 Hubble Servicing Mission.

Learn more



News Archive

September 2023(1)
August 2023(1)
May 2023(3)
April 2023(2)
February 2023(1)
January 2023(1)
December 2022(1)
October 2022(3)
September 2022(1)
August 2022(1)
July 2022(1)
June 2022(1)
May 2022(1)
April 2022(2)
December 2021(1)
October 2021(1)
September 2021(1)
August 2021(2)
July 2021(1)
June 2021(1)
May 2021(1)
April 2021(2)
March 2021(2)
February 2021(1)
February 2022(5)
January 2021(1)
December 2020(2)
October 2020(4)
September 2020(1)
June 2020(1)
April 2020(5)
February 2020(6)
January 2020(2)
December 2019(3)
November 2019(7)
October 2019(2)
September 2019(2)
August 2019(1)
July 2019(2)
June 2019(1)
May 2019(4)
April 2019(3)
March 2019(1)
February 2019(3)
January 2019(2)
December 2018(5)
November 2018(2)
October 2018(4)
September 2018(7)
August 2018(7)
July 2018(2)
May 2018(5)
April 2018(3)
March 2018(2)
February 2018(6)
January 2018(5)
December 2017(2)
November 2017(3)
October 2017(3)
September 2017(1)
August 2017(6)
July 2017(7)
June 2017(5)
May 2017(10)
April 2017(1)
March 2017(4)
February 2017(9)
January 2017(6)
December 2016(3)
November 2016(5)
October 2016(3)
September 2016(3)
August 2016(3)
July 2016(1)
May 2016(1)
April 2016(4)
March 2016(4)
February 2016(3)
January 2016 (6)
December 2015(5)
November 2015(5)
October 2015(6)
September 2015(9)
August 2015(8)
July 2015(7)
June 2015(7)
May 2015(9)
April 2015(5)
March 2015(5)
February 2015(7)
December 2014(6)
November 2014(5)
October 2014(6)
September 2014(8)
August 2014(7)
July 2014(5)
June 2014(5)
May 2014(9)
April 2014(7)
March 2014(7)
February 2014(5)
January 2014(4)
December 2013(7)
November 2013(8)
October 2013(8)
September 2013(8)
August 2013(9)
July 2013(9)
June 2013(2)
May 2013(2)
March 2013(5)
February 2013(3)
January 2013(6)
December 2012(12)
November 2012(3)
October 2012(1)
September 2012(3)
August 2012(4)
July 2012(2)
june 2012(6)
May 2012(4)
April 2012(7)
March 2012(1)
February 2012(4)
January 2012(1)
December 2011(2)
November 2011(4)
October 2011(2)
September 2011(5)
August 2011(6)
July 2011(6)
June 2011(10)
May 2011(11)
April 2011(10)
March 2011(11)
February 2011(9)
January 2011(6)
December 2010(10)
November 2010(8)
October 2010(5)
September 2010(7)
August 2010(11)
July 2010(9)
June 2010(9)
May 2010(10)
April 2010(5)
March 2010(6)
February 2010(3)
January 2010(3)
December 2009(3)
November 2009(8)
October 2009(3)
September 2009(4)
August 2009(4)
July 2009(11)
June 2009(5)