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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 10/31/2006 2:34:10 PM EST


NASA announces Hubble repair mission

POSTED: 12:41 p.m. EST, October 31, 2006

• NEW: Hubble repair mission by shuttle astronauts will likely be in early 2008
• Mission will prolong the life of space telescope by seven years
• Repairs include installing new cameras and upgrading batteries

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- NASA Administrator Michael Griffin on Tuesday approved sending a space shuttle to repair the 16-year-old Hubble Space Telescope, reversing his predecessor's contentious decision to nix the mission.

"We are going to add a shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope to the shuttle's manifest to be flown before it retires," Griffin told workers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland on Tuesday.

Griffin's announcement was greeted eagerly by astronomers who feared Hubble would deteriorate before the end of the decade without a mission to add new camera instruments, sensors and replace aging batteries. (Watch Griffin's announcement -- :52)

The shuttle mission will likely be in early 2008.

Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe canceled a Hubble mission in the wake of the Columbia shuttle disaster that killed seven astronauts in 2003. O'Keefe believed the risks were too great and the remaining shuttle missions should focus on completing construction of the international space station.

Unlike the remaining 14 shuttle flights needed to finish space station construction, astronauts going to Hubble wouldn't have a refuge in the event of a catastrophic problem like the one that doomed Columbia. NASA would have another shuttle on the launch pad, ready to make an emergency rescue trip in case of trouble.

A rehab mission would keep Hubble working until about 2013. It would add two new camera instruments, upgrade aging batteries and stabilizing equipment, add new guidance sensors and repair a light-separating spectrograph.

Without a servicing mission, Hubble likely would deteriorate in 2009 or 2010.

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. (Hubble explainer)

The telescope also has popularized astronomy by producing countless wondrous images. (Images from space)

"I believe the risks are worth the reward of going into space for just about any mission, in particular the Hubble mission," said astronaut Jim Newman, who was on the last space shuttle mission to Hubble in 2002.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:38:22 PM EST
Sweet. I love how well they got it running after the initial fuckup.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:40:09 PM EST
Cool! I think the Hubble will go down as one of the biggest scientific achievements of man-kind so far...
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:43:01 PM EST
Good. It has produced some of the most spectular astonomical photographs in existence.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 2:43:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
Cool! I think the Hubble will go down as one of the biggest scientific achievements of man-kind so far...

I fully agree!........
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 3:27:49 PM EST
Good decision.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 3:34:15 PM EST
I was hoping they'd approve the robotic mission to fix it. But so long as they fix it then I'm happy.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 3:37:22 PM EST
Good. Now we can spot our new Overlords as they approach.

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 6:33:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dranoel:
Good. Now we can spot our new Overlords as they approach.

Anyone in South Texas can see our new overlords, just look towards the border!
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 6:35:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 6:37:54 PM EST by fight4yourrights]

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