Compiled by Dean Takahashi, Times staff writer

Keeping track: As the Hubble Space Telescope gazes at the heavens, engineers in the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., are using personal computers from AST Research of Irvine to monitor and verify the orbit of the shuttle-launched telescope.

Using 10 AST Premimum/386 computers linked with a plotter, National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists will make graphic models of the Earth and the telescope’s orbit 380 miles above the planet. That data and information sent from space will be analyzed to ensure that the $1.5-billion telescope remains on track.

AST computers will also help NASA engineers analyze data about the telescope such as its temperature, velocity, time, position, current and voltage.