Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS)
Ball Aerospace designed and built the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) to enhance the capabilities of two first-generation Hubble Space Telescope instruments: the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph and the Faint Object Spectrograph. STIS was installed aboard Hubble during the second servicing mission in February 1997.
A Ball Aerospace team helped NASA prepare for the SM4 STIS repair activity. This image show an astronaut practicing the repair under water.
STIS captured images along its narrow entrance slit, which blocked extraneous light and generated the spectra of many locations simultaneously. The instrument’s observations are helping scientists understand the origins, properties, and dynamics of galaxies, stars, and the interstellar medium.
Astronauts installed Ball Aerospace’s improved power supply during Servicing Mission 4. The repairs were deep within the instrument and included several blind operations performed by the astronaut. STIS operated nearly three years beyond its five-year design life, until its power-supply wore out in 2004.
Ball Aerospace worked with NASA to develop a simple repair process that would not compromise any performance characteristics of the instrument.