Hubble upgrade missions are extremely important. Many scientists would give their life to see The Hubble safely on its way.
Wheeling, IL (PRWEB) November 12, 2013
Mr. Egon Jaeggin of Numerical Precision, Inc., recently took his wife and grand kids to see the movie ‘Gravity.’ He quietly cheered during the first ten minutes as Dr. Ryan Stone — played by actress Sandra Bullock — uses a facsimile of a pistol-grip cordless drill which his firm built for NASA in 2009. Bullock’s character is performing an upgrade to the Hubble Space Telescope when her team is ordered to abort the mission due to an in-coming cloud of space debris. Her daring escape back to planet Earth forms the plot for this exciting box office hit. Yet, there’s also an interesting backstory from Mr. Jaeggin about these opening minutes of the film.
According to Mr. Jaeggin, “it would be very hard for her to stop what she’s doing so close to the finish line. It’s no wonder Sandra Bullock’s character attempts to continue her work as the dire warnings are broadcast by the Shuttle. Hubble upgrade missions are extremely important. Many scientists would give their life to see The Hubble safely on its way.
Performing a Hubble upgrade is like opening a computer and replacing a board while wearing thick gloves and a fishbowl over your head. Yet, most people don’t know much about the Hubble, or how mission success relates to a simple looking cordless drill. The actual Mini Power Tool built by Jaeggin’s firm looks a little thinner and sleeker than what appears in the movie (see photo nearby). Nevertheless, the film facsimile Sandra Bullock uses is the star of the show for Mr. Jaeggin. His friends, clients, and former employees have been calling him since its U.S. release on October 4th.
In designing the Mini Power Tool, NASA stressed the need to overcome the extremely tight quarters and time restrictions for space walks where the temperature swings up to 500 degrees (from direct sun to “frigid shade”). It also helps allay the deep concerns they had for what might happen if a loose fastener found its way into the telescope.
“It is a very critical tool. NASA has had to outfit Hubble with new instruments over several missions for astronomers to make new discoveries, says Mr. Jaeggin. They needed the Mini Power Tool to remove fasteners from panels that had to be opened, repaired, replaced and closed. They also had to perform delicate work on existing instruments which were never designed for servicing in space. The scope of this work is unprecedented.”
Mr. Jaeggin was a newly graduated Tool & Die Maker when he immigrated to the U.S. in 1957. He’s founder and President of Numerical Precision, Inc., an AS9100-2009 Rev. C and ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer located in Wheeling, Illinois. The company has machined numerous components used in orbiting satellites, space based systems, aerospace navigation, defense and homeland security.
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“The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most powerful and prolific science instruments ever made, earning a place as one of the technical wonders of the modern world. From its lofty perch 350 miles above Earth, Hubble sees farther and sharper than any previous telescope, producing breathtaking images that have astounded astronomers and the public. Its discoveries have revolutionized nearly all areas of astronomy, from planetary science to cosmology. The telescope has imaged more than 30,000 celestial objects, snapping more than 570,000 pictures. A series of heroic astronaut servicing missions to Hubble have made it the longest-operating space observatory ever built. Thanks to routine maintenance and upgrades Hubble is 100 times more powerful than when it was launched. In addition to its scientific importance, Hubble brings cosmic wonders into millions of homes and schools worldwide, allowing the public to be co-explorers with this wondrous observatory.”
Hubble Space Telescope’s Top Science Findings
Space Telescope Science Institute
Operated for NASA by Aura
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Mini Power Tool Photo (Credit: NASA)
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1 See Quote from: “Hubble Space Telescope’s Top Science Findings” (above).