by Staff Writers
Detroit MI (SPX) May 08, 2009
EaglePicher Technologies has been one of NASA's most trusted suppliers since America's early days in Space-from powering launches, to helping astronomers see deeper into the unknown-its technology is relied on time and time again.
A great example of the company's proven reliability is the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been powered by EaglePicher's nickel hydrogen batteries since its launch in 1990. Initially, the batteries were required to last 5 years-but instead have lasted nearly four times longer.
This has helped make Hubble one of NASA's most successful and long-lasting space science missions, contributing to a significant cost savings for NASA by reducing the number of required servicing missions.
EaglePicher's batteries supply power to Hubble during the 36-minutes of each 97-minute orbit where the telescope's solar wings are in the Earth's shadow. Fully charged, the battery system contains enough energy to sustain the telescope in normal operations mode for 7.5 hours, or five orbits.
Hubble orbits Earth moving at the speed of about five miles per second-fast enough to travel across the United States in about 10 minutes. As it travels, Hubble's mirror captures light and directs it into its several science instruments.
Over the years it has beamed hundreds of thousands of images back to Earth, shedding light on the mysterious, far-reaching depths of space.
On May 11, NASA will return to Hubble to service the telescope and install a fresh set of EaglePicher nickel hydrogen batteries-the first replacement since its launch 19 years ago. This service mission will be Hubble's last, as the iconic telescope is projected to fall out of orbit in 2013.
In addition to the Hubble Space Telescope, EaglePicher's nickel hydrogen batteries have supported more than 400 space missions, including the International Space Station, Lunar Rover, Apollo, Gemini and Mercury. In all, EaglePicher's nickel hydrogen batteries have logged more than 1.3 billion hours in space without a single mission failure.
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com
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