Back in the pool

Musgrave was also designated MS 4 and assumed the EV 2 and IV 2 role for the mission's EVA programme. His primary crew responsibilities also included the galley on the mid-deck, 35 mm photographic equipment, medical issues, on-orbit stowage, and FDF issues concerning EVA. His back-up crew responsibilities included the Hubble Space Telescope, payload communications, 70 mm photographic equipment, in-flight maintenance, dealing with the Public Affairs Office and flight plan issues in the FDF.

The crew trained hard for their mission to ensure the eyes of Hubble could finally peer clearly deep into the universe. Building upon past missions and their own previous flight experiences, the crew strove to mould themselves into an effective team for the rendezvous, RMS operations, EVAs and the deployment. The EVA training for Musgrave and his colleagues was far more extensive and varied than for any previous mission, with all four crew members and the back-up trained on all EVA tasks. Multiple training facilities were used to master these spacewalking skills, including:

Weightless Environment Training Facility (WETF) at JSC, Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (NBS) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), High Fidelity Mechanical Simulator (HFMS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Precision Air Bearing Floor (PABF) using modified Apollo-era fixtures at JSC, 193 hours of Joint Integrated Simulations (JIS) between JSC/GSFC/MSFC, Manned Thermal Vacuum Tests (MTVT) at JSC, including three round-the-clock operations of the last two EVA days and deployment timeline (59 hours) (with Claude Nicollier as RMS operator), and using the Manipulator Development Facility (MDF) at JSC to further assist in developing astronaut and RMS coordination. The MDF consisted of a high-fidelity RMS simulator in a mock-up orbiter payload bay and the use of a full-scale HST balloon mock-up, with a mock-up astronaut figure on the end of the RMS Virtual Reality Simulator at JSC

For STS-61, there were 105 EVA-related training tasks. As a crew, the five EVA astronauts logged 350 hours in total in the water tanks at Houston and Marshall, setting a new crew record.

On 10 March, the EVA crew's training took them across the Atlantic to England to visit the British Aerospace Space Systems Ltd facilities at Filton in Bristol and familiarise themselves with the new solar arrays being fabricated there. The four EVA astronauts were accompanied by ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, primary RMS operator for the mission. Covey, Bowersox and Harbaugh remained in Houston during the training trip.28

During simulated EVA activities on 28 May 1993, Musgrave was slightly injured

Musgrave in the White Room of Pad 39B preparing to enter Endeavour for his fifth ride into space and the first mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

in Thermal Vacuum Chamber B at JSC. In wanting to maximise his training time during one session in the chamber, he suffered a mild case of frostbite in his right-hand fingers through his EVA gloves, as the chamber was cooled to minus 130 degrees. During the equipment test, he had been practising with the tools and other instruments he would use during the EVAs on the mission. He communicated that his hand felt cold during the eight-hour simulation, but elected to complete the chamber run. After leaving the chamber and taking off his suit, Musgrave reported numbness and discolouration of the fingers. Under examination from NASA physicians, he began appropriate therapy to improve the condition as quickly as possible. Fortunately this had no lasting impact on his mission training or his assignment to STS-61.

The crew was due to visit Marshall Space Flight Center at the end of June to work in the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (water tank) developing and evaluating EVA timelines. The injury was expected to restrict Musgrave's suited activities, but as he was far ahead of the other crew members in training due to his long involvement with the Hubble mission, this was not expected to be a problem. To prevent a repeat of the incident in space, an extra layer of insulation was added to every EVA glove.29

Flight Day (FD) 1 of the mission called for ascent into orbit and corrective burns to prepare for rendezvous with the HST. FD 2 would include checking out the RMS and the EVA equipment and further refinements to the flight trajectory. FD 3 would see the rendezvous, grapple and berthing of the telescope. FD 4 was scheduled as

EVA 1 Day, with Musgrave and Hoffman changing the rate sensor units in the telescope's gyros. FD 5 would see Thornton and Akers exchange the twin solar arrays, supported by Musgrave and Hoffman from within the orbiter. On FD 6, Musgrave and Hoffman were again to go outside, to change the WFPC-II and two magnetic sensing systems. During FD 7 Akers and Thornton would install the corrective optics, and on FD 8 Musgrave and Hoffman would install solar array drive electronics. The telescope would be released on FD 9 with the crew taking a half-day off in turn on FD 10 as they prepared for entry and landing on FD 12.30

Just prior to departing to the Cape for the launch of STS-61, Musgrave reflected on the complexity of the mission and his apprehensions over the flight plan. ''I'm not overconfident. I'm running scared. This thing is frightening to me. I'm looking for every kind of thing that might get out and bite us.'' This approach was one of a veteran astronaut well used to the twists and turns of space flight, the unforgiving environment an astronaut lives and works in and of the technology they have to deal with every day on their mission. According to Musgrave, running scared keeps you thinking about how to get the job done. He had also commented on why he wanted to fly in space again: ''I'm here because I love space, I love being in space, and I like the space business. You can't separate out space and the space business. I've been an astronaut for twenty-six years, and I've had roughly twenty-six days in space. I've got only one day in space for every 365 days down here. It's not a very good ratio, but I still love space so much that I would continue to do it even if the ratios were worse.''31 Musgrave also revealed that, ''The night before launch, I go down and lie by the ocean and look at the stars. Sometimes I see satellites overhead and think 'Tomorrow, you're going to be one of those. See that streak? That's you tomorrow'.''32

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