Hubble repair to be decided

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I so hope they decide to repair it. The information we've gleaned from the Hubble is nothing short of amazing.


NASA chief to decide soon on astronaut mission to repair Hubble Space Telescope in 2008
By Mike Schneider
ASSOCIATED PRESS

11:17 a.m. October 23, 2006

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The fate of what some scientists dub “the people's telescope” is again up in the air as NASA decides soon whether to squeeze in a last astronaut repair mission to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope.

On Friday, NASA engineers will debate the safety of sending a fifth and final manned space shuttle flight to the 16-year-old telescope, probably in 2008. Soon afterward, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin will make the final call.

His decision could prolong Hubble's ability to capture some the most spectacular images of the universe well into the next decade or allow the telescope to deteriorate into oblivion by 2009 or 2010.
Griffin worked on Hubble earlier in his career and recently described it as “one of the great scientific instruments of all time.” Unlike his predecessor, he has expressed a willingness to repair it.

“If we can do it safely, we want to do it,” Griffin said. “But we have new constraints on ... the space shuttle system. We have a new understanding of its fragility and vulnerability.”

The final Hubble repair mission was canceled by former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe 2½ years ago after the space shuttle Columbia disaster which killed seven astronauts in 2003. The decision was roundly criticized by scientists and politicians, but the ex-administrator cited the risk to astronauts and the need to use the remaining shuttle flights to finish building the international space station.

O'Keefe had proposed using a robot to service Hubble, but a scientific advisory panel said the chance of completing such a mission on time was remote and that a manned mission had better odds of succeeding. The committee also said the risks of flying to Hubble weren't much greater than going to the space station.

The primary concern lies with astronaut safety. If the astronauts go to Hubble, they won't be able to seek refuge at the space station should there be a catastrophic problem like the one that doomed Columbia.
...

The remaining 14 shuttle flights are dedicated to completing the space station by the time the fleet is grounded in 2010. If a Hubble servicing mission is approved, it would have to be squeezed into the space station construction schedule sometime in early 2008.

NASA also would have another shuttle on the launch pad, ready to make an emergency rescue trip if there were a catastrophic problem.

“I'd tell them to go ahead and do it, but don't grit your teeth,” said Howard McCurdy, a space policy expert at American University. “And this is going to be a teeth-gritting mission.”

On the list of Hubble repairs are replacement of aging batteries, guidance sensors and gyroscopes.

Among the Hubble's many scientific accomplishments, the telescope has enabled direct observation of the universe as it was 12 billion years ago, discovered black holes at the center of many galaxies, provided measurements that helped establish the size and age of the universe and offered evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. But the telescope also has popularized astronomy by producing countless wondrous images.
...

Full article: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20061023-1117-shuttle-hubble.html
 
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The data already has gathered has helped expand our understanding of the univserse and it origins greatly. Why blind the eyes of science if they can get a few more years of service before the next generation of instruments hits orbit?
 

onedomino

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The data already has gathered has helped expand our understanding of the univserse and it origins greatly. Why blind the eyes of science if they can get a few more years of service before the next generation of instruments hits orbit?
I agree. Not only that, but with retrofits of its scientific instruments, Hubble can be kept at the forefront of science. The JWT will orbit much further out in space than Hubble. But the JWT will not be easy (if it is reasonably possible at all) to service by spacecraft dispatched from Earth.
 

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onedomino

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And there's this site:

<center><a href=http://hubblesite.org/>HUBBLESITE</a></center>

They have one of the most complete inventories of Hubble imagery around> I update my wall-paper from it on a regular basis.
That is a good site Bully. Thanks.
 
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Prognosis is good for Hubble
NASA plans major announcement Tuesday


Associated Press
Sun, Oct. 29, 2006

WASHINGTON — Signs are promising for a repair of the aging but popular Hubble Space Telescope, once thought doomed because of worries over astronaut safety.

NASA set plans for a big announcement after top officials met for three hours Friday to consider the value and risks of sending astronauts to repair the Hubble, extending its life for several more years.

The decision rests with NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, who hasn't yet made up his mind, NASA spokesman Dean Acosta said Friday in an e-mail.

However, the space agency sent out a press release about a gala announcement ceremony for Tuesday at the Goddard Space Center in the Maryland suburbs of Washington. The Goddard center helps oversee the 16-year-old space telescope.

The NASA press release said the ceremony includes a "news conference with the astronauts who would carry out the mission" — if the agency decides to go ahead with a shuttle flight to rehab the telescope.

"You should not read anything into it," Acosta said about the news release. "If the answer is no, then obviously we're not going to do all those things."

Astronomers across the country have lobbied loudly to keep the Hubble working.

Griffin has previously said, "If we can do it safely, we want to do it."

The NASA chief worked on Hubble earlier in his career and recently described it as "one of the great scientific instruments of all time."

"I think they've decided yes, but they haven't done it officially," said University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomer Jay Gallagher, who is a member of a science team responsible for one of Hubble's cameras. "Everything we've been hearing in our community is yes, so I'm hopeful that this is going to happen."

The issue that NASA officials had to wrestle with was shuttle safety. If the spacecraft heading to the aging telescope has a problem, there is no place to go for safe haven, unlike NASA's 14 remaining shuttle missions to the international space station.

http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinc...9572.htm?source=rss&channel=twincities_nation
 

BaronVonBigmeat

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I can't imagine the reasoning behind wanting to send up astronauts in a rickety socialist space antique deathtrap to fix it, when there is a much better replacement coming in a few years.
 

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Yea, my opinion is that we ditch Hubble, ditch the Shuttle, stop expanding the International Space Station and plow NASA's newfound $10 billion surplus into encouraging private space development, moon exploration, Earth sciences, aeronautics, etc. No reason to waste all this money on dead technology.
 

onedomino

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Yea, my opinion is that we ditch Hubble, ditch the Shuttle, stop expanding the International Space Station and plow NASA's newfound $10 billion surplus into encouraging private space development, moon exploration, Earth sciences, aeronautics, etc. No reason to waste all this money on dead technology.
How many investors will line up to support the risky robotic rover investigation of Mars and other similar NASA projects? Are you seriously saying that such projects should not exist? There are many worthwhile long-term projects that take decades, and require billions of dollars, that short-term ROI financial managers would never consider.
 
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Yippee!

GREENBELT, Maryland (Reuters) -
NASA said on Tuesday it would extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope until at least 2013 in a decision that involves a potentially risky space shuttle mission.

A space shuttle will make one final maintenance trip to the orbiting telescope even though astronauts will not be able to take shelter on the International Space Station if something goes wrong, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told cheering scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington.

"The desire to preserve a truly international asset like the Hubble Space Telescope makes doing this mission the right course of action," Griffin said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061031/sc_nm/space_hubble_dc_1
 

onedomino

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Yippee!

GREENBELT, Maryland (Reuters) -
NASA said on Tuesday it would extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope until at least 2013 in a decision that involves a potentially risky space shuttle mission.

A space shuttle will make one final maintenance trip to the orbiting telescope even though astronauts will not be able to take shelter on the International Space Station if something goes wrong, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told cheering scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington.

"The desire to preserve a truly international asset like the Hubble Space Telescope makes doing this mission the right course of action," Griffin said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061031/sc_nm/space_hubble_dc_1
This is good news. I do not understand the need to take shelter at the ISS. People went into space for decades and there was no ISS to even consider. Space flight and exploration are inherently dangerous. When exploring, if you are not taking some reasonable risks, then you are not doing it right. Astronauts are very bright people; they understand this. In the past, people have been killed in accidents exploring space. In the future, people will be killed in accidents exploring space. NASA's overwhelming caution verges on paralysis: a Shuttle accident occurs and it is literally years before we fly again. If we behaved like this while developing the airplane, we would still be working the kinks out of biplanes. Come on NASA; let's get on with it.
 
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This is good news. I do not understand the need to take shelter at the ISS. People went into space for decades and there was no ISS to even consider. Space flight and exploration are inherently dangerous. When exploring, if you are not taking some reasonable risks, then you are not doing it right. Astronauts are very bright people; they understand this. In the past, people have been killed in accidents exploring space. In the future, people will be killed in accidents exploring space. NASA's overwhelming caution verges on paralysis: a Shuttle accident occurs and it is literally years before we fly again. If we behaved like this while developing the airplane, we would still be working the kinks out of biplanes. Come on NASA; let's get on with it.
Amen to that.
 

Mr.Conley

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onedomino said:
How many investors will line up to support the risky robotic rover investigation of Mars and other similar NASA projects? Are you seriously saying that such projects should not exist? There are many worthwhile long-term projects that take decades, and require billions of dollars, that short-term ROI financial managers would never consider.
No, I'm not saying that we stop funding missions similar to Cassini, the rovers, or the new Pluto mission, I want NASA to stop funding the Shuttle, which saps up $7 billion a year, and the ISS, which saps up $3 billion a year, and use the money more effectively. Afterall, why waste so much money on a program that we're going to scrap within the next 5 years anyway? The Shuttles are dangerous and expensive, and the free market is starting to offer up several safer, cheaper alternatives for both the Shuttles and the ISS. My belief is that by ending the Shuttle and ISS programs in favor of market solutions we will in fact be increasing the budget available to programs that exist wholly outside the domain of the free market, such as the rovers. Unfortunately, ditching the Shuttle means ditching the Hubble, but with the move opening up so much money in the budget, and with a replacement on the way anyway, my opinion is that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.
 

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