Gallery: The Tools That Kept Hubble Space Telescope Running

Ben Reed describes bulky Module Service Tool

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The Hubble Space Telescope has been wowing space fans with amazing cosmic views for 25 years, but only because of repairs and upgrades by visiting astronauts. See the tools astronauts used to fix and repair the Hubble Space Telescope. HERE: Ben Reed, of NASA's Satellite Servicing Office, describes the bulky Module Service Tool used by astronauts for servicing the 1984 SolarMax mission.

Ben Reed holds the Pistol Grip Tool

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Ben Reed, of NASA's Satellite Servicing Office, holds the Pistol Grip Tool used by astronauts servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble Servicing Tool

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For the final Hubble servicing mission, NASA developed a less powerful tool for astronauts to rapidly remove over 140 screws while in space.

Hubble Electronic Board

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An example of the box which housed the electronic boards for STIS and ACS. Engineers wanted to avoid having an instrument reach into the box, which contained sharp edges that could puncture their suits.

Interior of Electronic Housing Box

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Ed Rezac shows the interior of a box much like the one housing the electronic boards that required repair on the STIS and ACS instruments.

Color-coded Access Panel

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The color-coded access panel used to seal STIS back inside its box. Rather having to deal with 111 screws, astronauts only had two fasteners to close up the instrument.

The Fastener Capture Plate

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Ed Rezac sets the fastener capture plate on top of the box that would house the electronic boards. Astronauts would then remove the screws to take off the outer access panel before they could reach the boards to change them out.

Demonstrating the Fastener Capture Plate

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Ed Rezac demonstrates the fastener capture plate, built to collect the screws and other debris from the HST as astronauts removed them.

STIS Instrument Protection Panel

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Marion Riley describes the features of the new panel designed to protect the STIS instrument.

Pistol Grip Tool

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Russ Werneth (foreground) poses with a Pistol Grip Tool much like the one used on NASA's missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Pistol Grip Tool (PGT)

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The Pistol Grip Tool (PGT)

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