Photographing NASA Repair Mission Preparation

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit in 1990. While still in operation today, the telescope has had to be repaired multiple times, resulting in five separate shuttle missions. The last Hubble repair mission was deemed “really a spectacular mission” by Curator of Aviation, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Eric Boehm. Leading up to this amazing 1993 mission, documentary photographer Michael Soluri was given unprecedented access to visually chronicle the days before this final task:

From learning about these one of kind tools to water training, Soluri’s photography shows a behind-the-scenes look at the joys and difficulties these men and women faced preparing for their mission.

Soluri’s work gained even more significance when it became known as some of the only visual evidence left of the original launch pad’s existence (the site was later dismantled and leased out to SpaceX). Perhaps the most important component of all is his natural ability to shed light on the human driving force behind space flight.

Hubble, repair, mission, tool, NASA

It took Soluri over a year and a half to photograph each individual tool.

“Humanity wasn’t being revealed; it was being scripted, and trying to seek the art and humanity behind the scenes of NASA was a very driving force for me. Seeing them in the environment they work and being able to go back over and over again, discovered something new.” –Soluri’s thoughts on the humanity behind NASA

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