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Spectacular New Images From the Hubble Telescope: Celestial Butterfly

Celestial Butterfly
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in action following a much-needed upgrade after astronauts repaired its intricate machinery from space in a daring mission in May. NASA has provided an array of marvelous images showing off the telescope's new capabilities.

STS-125: Landing Stats

Atlantis is on the ground at Edwards, and the post-flight News Conference is underway. Was this the last non-ISS shuttle flight? STS-125 was Atlantis' 30th trip, the 126th Space Shuttle mission, & the 53rd Shuttle landing at Edwards (not including Enterprise).

NASA reports:

Landing times in Eastern Daylight Time and Mission Elapsed Time:
Main Gear Touchdown 11:39:05 a.m. EDT
Nose Gear Touchdown 11:39:15 a.m. EDT
Wheels Stop 11:40:15 a.m. EDT

MET: 12 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes, 9 seconds
Number of Orbits: 197
Total Distance: 5276000 miles/8490899 kilometers

Atlantis Lands in California

Space shuttle Atlantis landing at Edwards
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA TV

With Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Gregory C. Johnson at the controls, space shuttle Atlantis descended to a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The STS-125 astronauts concluded their successful mission to the Hubble Space Telescope when the shuttle touched down at 11:39 a.m. EDT.

Atlantis arrived at the Hubble Space Telescope on May 13, and the STS-125 crew performed five spacewalks on five consecutive days to repair and upgrade the telescope.

Landing blog at NASA. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: TOUCHDOWN!

Atlantis is home! Fox News covered the landing live, and they are chatting with former astronaut Paul Lockhart about the new NASA Administrator nominee Charlie Bolden. NASA reports:

Touchdown: Atlantis, STS-125 Crew are Back on Earth

Atlantis lands in the California desert at Edwards Air Force Base.
Image above: Atlantis touches down in the California desert at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA Image credit: NASA

Space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-125 astronauts are safely on the runway at Edwards Air Force Base in California, capping a bold mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope for the final time. The orbiter landed at Edwards on Sunday, May 24, at 11:39 a.m. EDT.

Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 11. During the 13-day mission, astronauts performed five challenging spacewalks over five consecutive days, improving Hubble's discovery power by 10 to 70 times and extending the 19-year-old observatory's lifespan by at least five more years.

Landing blog at NASA. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: Deorbit Burn Complete

Atlantis is flying at Mach 15 over the Pacific ocean, heading for a west coast landing at Edwards AFB. NASA reports:

Atlantis to Land at Edwards Air Force Base

T-38 jet aircraft
Image above: Conditions are favorable at Edwards Air Force Base in California as a T-38 jet aircraft monitors the weather for the secondary landing site: NASA TV

Space shuttle Atlantis will land on orbit 197 at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 11:39 a.m. EDT with a deorbit burn performed at 10:24 a.m. The burn slowed Atlantis to begin its descent.

Weather conditions forced flight controllers to pass on STS-125’s first landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Landing blog at NASA. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: California It Is!

Mission managers were not feeling comfortable with weather conditions at Kennedy, so they have decided to take the next landing opportunity for Edwards AFB in California. Deorbit burn would start at 10:24AM EDT, putting Atlantis on the runway at 11:39AM EDT. NASA's earlier report:

First Landing Opportunity Waved Off Due to Weather

Mission Control in Houston
Image above: Houston's Mission Control Center's weather monitors show the poor weather conditions at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image credit: NASA

› STS-125 Landing Ground Tracks

Mission managers have waved off today's first opportunity to land space shuttle Atlantis at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Uncooperative weather has plagued the Florida spaceport for several days, foiling previous attempts on Friday and Saturday.

Both Edwards and Kennedy will be considered for the next landing opportunities: Edward's next attempt is at 11:39 a.m. EDT and Kennedy's next attempt is at 11:48 a.m.

Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy on May 11. During the 13-day mission, astronauts performed five challenging spacewalks over five consecutive days, improving Hubble's discovery power by 10 to 70 times and extending the 19-year-old observatory's lifespan by at least five more years.

Landing blog at NASA. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: Landing Day

Flight Day 14 looks to be the last one in space for Atlantis and the STS-125 crew. Rainy Florida weather thwarted landing attempts for two consecutive days, but mission managers will call the orbiter back to Earth today, diverting to Edwards AFB in California if necessary. The first of four opportunities has already been waved off.  NASA reports:

Four Landing Opportunities for Atlantis Today

S125-E-013050 -- Gregory C. Johnson
Image above: Pilot Gregory C. Johnson occupies the commander's station in the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis. Photo Credit: NASA

Four landing opportunities are available for space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-125 crew to return to Earth today.

Atlantis’ first landing opportunity is at 10:09 a.m. EDT on orbit 196. If controllers elect to take it, Commander Scott Altman will perform the deorbit burn at 8:57 a.m. to begin the descent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. One other opportunity is available for Atlantis to land at Kennedy and two opportunities are available at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The first California landing opportunity would start with a deorbit burn at 10:24 a.m., and result in landing at 11:40 a.m.

Weather prevented Atlantis’ astronauts from landing yesterday at Kennedy.

Atlantis arrived at the Hubble Space Telescope on May 13, and the STS-125 crew performed five spacewalks on five consecutive days to repair and upgrade the telescope.

STS-125 is the 126th shuttle mission.

Status Report #26 at NASA. Landing blog at NASA. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: NO GO FOR SATURDAY

For the second day in a row, snotty weather at KSC has forced NASA to postpone Atlantis' landing. In order to save the $1 million cost of flying the orbiter back to Florida on the back of a specially modified 747 jet, it was decided to keep the astronauts in orbit one more day instead of going for a California landing today.

Status Report #24 at NASA. Landing blog at NASA. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-125: Saturday Landing Attempt

Will Flight Day 13 be homecoming day for Atlantis? The crew got the go-ahead to don their Launch and Entry Suits, but the first of today's six landing opportunities has already been waved offNASA reports:

Six Landing Opportunities for Atlantis Today

S125-E-013380: STS-125 crew
Image above: The STS-125 crew poses for a photo on the middeck of space shuttle Atlantis. Pictured on the front row are Commander Scott Altman (center), Pilot Gregory C. Johnson, and Mission Specialist Megan McArthur. Pictured on the back row (left to right) are Andrew Feustel, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Michael Good, all mission specialists. Photo Credit: NASA

Six landing opportunities are available for space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-125 crew to return to Earth today.

Atlantis’ first landing opportunity is at 9:15 a.m. EDT on orbit 180. If controllers elect to take it, Commander Scott Altman will perform the deorbit burn at 8:01 a.m. to begin the descent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There are two other opportunities available for Atlantis to land at Kennedy, as well as three opportunities at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The first California landing opportunity would start with a deorbit burn at 9:29 a.m., and result in landing at 10:45 a.m.

Thunderstorms, low clouds and showers prevented Atlantis’ astronauts from landing yesterday at Kennedy.

Atlantis arrived at the Hubble Space Telescope on May 13, and the STS-125 crew performed five spacewalks on five consecutive days to repair and upgrade the telescope.

STS-125 is the 126th shuttle mission.

› View landing ground tracks

Landing blog at NASA. Real-time tracking at N2YO. Landing pics and video will be at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Live video at SFN. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.