New solar panels

Hubble's second set of ESA built solar panels was replaced during SM3B.
The first set of solar panels was replaced in December 1993 during the first Servicing Mission. This second set served with honour for more than eight years and were replaced by more robust, rigid arrays that do not roll up. This has reduced vibrations and made it possible to point Hubble even more precisely in space for longer periods and thus produce sharper images. The new arrays are also smaller and will slightly reduce the effects of atmospheric drag on the spacecraft. Even more importantly, these new panels are more efficient and enables scientists to use more instruments on Hubble at the same time.

Hubble's new Solar Panels in a clean room before launch.

Hubble's new Solar Panels in a clean room before launch.

The new Solar Panels during 'space testing' in the test-facilities at ESA's ESTEC laboratories.

The new Solar Panels during 'space testing' in the test-facilities at ESA's ESTEC laboratories.