On reaching its destination, 450 km above Earth, the Atlantis shuttle crew prepared to release the 17 ton observatory from the shuttle bay but encountered a serious problem. The high gain antenna, intended to transmit telemetry to the TDRS satellite for communication to ground stations was stuck. The loss of this antenna would have had a crippling effect on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's mission. Shuttle Mission specialists Jerry Ross and Jay Apt were able to free the stuck antenna boom during an unplanned space walk. Jay Apt is pictured here in the shuttle bay with the Compton Observatory satellite in the background. The large round domes of the EGRET and COMPTEL telescopes are visible along with a BATSE detector in the lower right corner of the satellite.
If you have a question about CGRO, please contact us via the Feedback form.