Stock Photo - 11/13/1999 __ Towering atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, Space Shuttle Discovery negotiates a turn in the crawlerway on its trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B, 4.2 miles 6.8 kilometers apart. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS_103 launch targeted for Dec. 6, 1999, at 2:37 a.m. EST. The mission is a call_up due to the need to replace portions of the pointing system the gyros which have begun to fail on the Hubble Space Telescope. Although Hubble is operating normally and conducting its scientific observations, only three of its six gyroscopes are working properly. The gyroscopes allow the telescope to point at stars, galaxies and planets. The STS_103 crew will also be installing a Fine Guidance Sensor, a new enhanced computer, a solid_state digital recorder, and a new spare transmitter to replace older equipment, and replacing degraded insulation on the telescope with new thermal insulation. The crew will also install a Battery Voltage/Temperature Improvement Kit to protect the spacecraft batteries from overcharging and overheating when the telescope goes into a safe mode. Four EVA´s are planned to make the necessary repairs and replacements on the telescope. The STS_103 crew members are Commander Curtis L. Brown Jr., Pilot Scott J. Kelly, Mission Specialist Steven L. Smith, Mission Specialist C. Michael Foale Ph.D., Mission Specialist John M. Grunsfeld Ph.D., and Mission Specialist Claude Nicollier of Switzerland, and Mission Specialist Jean_François Clervoy of France, both with the European Space Agency

Stock Photo: 11/13/1999 -- Towering atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, Space Shuttle Discovery negotiates a turn in the crawlerway on its trek from.

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