Mission specialists John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel kicked off STS-125’s first spacewalk at 8:52 a.m. EDT.
During the 6.5-hour excursion, the pair will remove the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and replace it with a new wide-field camera. The new camera will allow the telescope to take large-scale, clear, and detailed photos over a wide range of colors.
The spacewalkers’ next major task will be the replacement of the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit. The computer sends commands to Hubble’s science instruments and formats science data for transmission to the ground.
If time permits, Feustel and Grunsfeld will install a soft capture mechanism that will allow future vehicles to attach to the telescope.
Their final scheduled task for the day will be to install three latch-over-center kits that will allow for faster opening and closing of the telescope doors during the third spacewalk.