An inspection of sophisticated instruments needed to repair the Hubble Space Telescope found no trace of contamination from a fine layer of dust that had seeped into a cargo room where the equipment was stored at the Kennedy Space Center, a spokeswoman said yesterday.
The instruments are being repackaged at Kennedy, where they will be loaded onto the Shuttle Endeavour for the planned Dec. * *TC mission to service and repair NASA's $1.5 billion space telescope, said Lisa Malone, a spokeswoman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Florida space center.
During the weekend of October 30, staff at the Kennedy Space Center found a fine layer of grit covering the outer plastic bag containing the instruments designed to correct Hubble's flawed vision. The grit -- apparently residue from sandblasting work that had been done earlier at the launch pad -- had seeped into the room following a high wind storm.
Concern about possible contamination led to the re-inspection of
the sensitive and costly instruments, including the $50 million Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement that was designed at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
"Nothing was amiss," Ms. Malone said of the inspection.
The 11-day mission, which includes an unprecedented number of space walks to repair the Hubble telescope, is scheduled to lift off from Kennedy next month.