New Outer Blanket Layer
|Thermal insulation on Hubble|
Astronauts noticed damage to Hubble’s protective multilayer insulation during the second and third Hubble Servicing Missions. During SM4, astronauts installed stainless steel sheets on Hubble’s exterior to provide additional thermal protection for some of the equipment bays. This layer is particularly important because it shields the instruments from the often rapid and harsh temperature changes that occur as Hubble orbits the Earth.
The New Outer Blanket Layer, or NOBL, protects Hubble’s external blankets. They prevent further degradation of the insulation and maintain normal operating temperatures for Hubble’s electronic equipment. Each NOBL has been tested to ensure that it can withstand exposure to: charged particles, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, and thermal cycling, for at least 10 years. The covers are made of specially coated stainless steel foil trimmed to fit specific equipment bay doors.
Fact Sheet (PDF file)