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NASA To Determine Hubble's Fate 192

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can-store-it-on-my-lawn dept.
clickclickdrone writes "According to the BBC NASA is debating whether or not to send astronauts in to space to service the Hubble telescope. Without intervention it is thought to be good for another 24-36months. Given the quality of images and data it has produced since it's launch, it sounds like a no brainer to me but the people who hold the purse strings are rarely predictable when it comes to spending money."
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NASA To Determine Hubble's Fate

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  • Auction Hubble (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:24AM (#16594100)
    Sell it off to the highest bidder. Some other space agency may well want to take over the maintenance and running of the telescope. Or maybe Google to grab it turn it round and use it to map the earth down to the smallest pebble.

     
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Apocalypse111 (597674)
      I can see it now, the GoldenPalace.com Space Telescope!
    • Re:Auction Hubble (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Orange Crush (934731) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:35AM (#16594286)
      What other nation or organization has a spacecraft capable of servicing Hubble within 24-36 months? Bear in mind, Hubble was designed to be serviced by the shuttle. Everyone else is pretty much using capsules exclusively, which aren't nearly as EVA-friendly nor do they have the necessary robotic arm.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by omeomi (675045)
        What other nation or organization has a spacecraft capable of servicing Hubble within 24-36 months?

        FOR SALE: One Space Telescope, under warranty. w/ 3-year service contract. Ask for Tony.
      • by 70Bang (805280)

        Potential sales shouldn't be an issue. "We need a bigger, cooler telescope" seems to be a good label.

        Allow enough time for people get used to a it, they have no preferene except to have cool images to look at. NASA, however, wants the next generation picture toy.

        Finding other potential planet, binary stars, etc. should to be less important when the local (our) neighborhood needs to be fully played with. Or, this planet. How much do we know about where we live (Earth)?

        I can't see my tax money divert
        • Re:Auction Hubble (Score:5, Interesting)

          by wanerious (712877) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @12:33PM (#16596512) Homepage
          Perhaps we're pushing this so hard is makework for all of people who have degrees (in this field)?

          Surprisingly not. Most astronomers I rub elbows with are not too supportive of the Hubble program. Sure, the pictures and deep field stuff is nice, but with recent advances in adaptive optics, we can build enormous ground-based scopes for much less money that outperform Hubble. And Hubble has diverted hundreds of millions of dollars away from other projects. I'm not a zealot for either side, but the professional astronomical community is certainly not of one mind on this.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by wass (72082)
            Most astronomers I rub elbows with are not too supportive of the Hubble program.

            Interesting, which institution's astronomers are you "rubbing elbows" with? I'm a physicst, not an astronomer, but of all the astronomy faculty, post-docs, and grad students at my institution I know of only a single professional astronomer (out of dozens, maybe even approaching 100+) that favors phasing out Hubble, and that's only because he is a PI in a Hubble replacement proposal. And this includes astronomers that primaril

      • by DJStealth (103231)
        Keep in mind, there are organizations working AS WE SPEAK on systems to remotely service the Hubble without requiring a person to go up there.
      • by bigpat (158134)
        What other nation or organization has a spacecraft capable of servicing Hubble within 24-36 months? Bear in mind, Hubble was designed to be serviced by the shuttle. Everyone else is pretty much using capsules exclusively, which aren't nearly as EVA-friendly nor do they have the necessary robotic arm.

        Throw in a shuttle as part of the deal.
    • I was wondering if the common law of abandoned boats at sea would apply here. Namely if NASA abandons Hubble, it becomes the property of anyone who takes the time to repair and reclaim it. ...Special charter flight on Virgin Galactic anyone? It comes with a free space telescope.
    • They could get a pretty penny for hubble I'm sure. Even if it isn't used, it's quite a piece of historical data some rich crazy cowboy would buy. As great as it has been in the past, I may just be time for it to retire. NASA doesn't have billions to spend on projects like it used to. They can't operate like an IBM mainframe like they once did. They've got to be cheaper even if it means less reliable. More expendable. 30 years ago we would have never seen the types of mistakes we see today in unmanned missio
    • by jonwil (467024)
      The problem is basicly that the only vehicle on the planet that can get to hubble is the shuttle Discovery. And, NASA have decided that they cant afford the risks (to the crew but more to the point to the shuttle which is essential to the ISS project) of sending Discovery to hubble.

      Hopefuly they change their mind and go and fix one of the most important astronomical tools ever created.
    • Re:Auction Hubble (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chosen Reject (842143) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:00AM (#16594706)
      Because of how the Hubble Telescope works, [hubblesite.org] it would do a very crummy job of imaging Earth.
      • by jackbird (721605)
        In conversations with some of the Hubble's designers, they've mentioned that the imaging electronics would also blow out more or less immediately if Earth were even to enter the Hubble's field of view. That lenscap thing always faces Earth when open for that very reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xzzy (111297)
      Or maybe Google to grab it turn it round and use it to map the earth down to the smallest pebble.

      I'm sure you're just being facetious, but I figured I'd note for anyone that finds this sort of thing interesting, the Hubble can't track the earth. It's moving too fast, any images taken would end up as a streaky blur. Earth slides beneath it at something like 4 miles per second, and the shutter on the Hubble is intended for long exposures.

      The Hubble doesn't even have the resolution to pick out the lunar landin
      • by griffjon (14945)
        For all the amazing work it's done over the years, it's specs really aren't that impressive in modern terms.

        Which is exactly the crux of the NASA decision, for not too much more than the cost of maintenance, they could launch a newer, dramamtically more powerful scope.
    • I know fuck all about optics, so is that possible? And if so, what kind of resolution would we get?
    • by prmths (325452)
      google should DEFINITELY take it :)
      http://space.google.com/ [google.com]
      adapt google maps and use celestia as a googlespace app :)
      that'd rawk!
  • Tell them Hubble might have found oil on a distant planet, and that we need to take another look.

    • Actually... (Score:3, Informative)

      by maddogsparky (202296)
      Well, Cassini-Huygens did find hydrocarbons on Titan. Don't know if Hubble was involved.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini-Huygens [wikipedia.org]
    • by shaitand (626655)
      Since oil on a distant planet would be proof of life they had better take a closer look.
      • "Since oil on a distant planet would be proof of life"

        Prey tell, how so?
        -nB
        • by TubeSteak (669689)
          "Since oil on a distant planet would be proof of life"

          Prey tell, how so?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Biogenic_th eory [wikipedia.org]

          Oil is the result of biomass getting compressed in the earth over a very long period of time.

          Keyword being biomass
          • "Oil is the result of biomass getting compressed in the earth over a very long period of time."

            And diamonds are the result of carbon being squished under heat and pressure in extinct volcanoes...except when their not. Many of the artificial diamonds talked about in the earlier article http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/2 6/0040204 [slashdot.org] use varients of the same processes used in the semiconductor industry to grow

            The thing is, Titan is much colder than anything around here. Its "rocks" are likely w
          • Note your link itself admits it's a theory, there are alternte theories about where oil came from, from your own link:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenic_petroleum_o rigin [wikipedia.org]

            Also do all complex hydrocarbons require bio-mass?
            what about the methane on various moons of the solar system:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(moon) [wikipedia.org]

            So yes I agree this is all very interesting and a I'd love to investigate all these things in more detail- but to state as fact that that is where oil came from when there is no such proo
  • Not Only Money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crymeph0 (682581) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:30AM (#16594188)

    it sounds like a no brainer to me but the people who hold the purse strings are rarely predictable when it comes to spending money.

    There's way more than money at stake here. Maybe Hubble is worth the risk to the astronaut's lives, but you can't just ignore that issue.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by uujjj (752925)
      This is an important point. The real question is not whether the mission is too risky but whether a few more years of Hubble is worth $1B+.
      • Re:Not Only Money (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ctrl-Z (28806) <tim@timcoleman. c o m> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:39AM (#16594348) Homepage Journal
        Since the US government just signed off on a 700-mile-long fence along the Mexican border with a down payment of $1.2 billion [1] [cnn.com], I think it's worth spending that much for a few more years of Hubble. But that's just me.
        • Re:Not Only Money (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Xzzy (111297) <sether @ t r u 7 h . o rg> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:58AM (#16594672) Homepage
          But what if that 1 billion were to end up spent on Hubble's replacement, which would permit a new level of research?

          A lot of the "save Hubble" defense seems to be more sentimental than practical. I'm not saying it should be tossed in the bin just because it's old, but it IS old, and technology has advanced tremendously since it was put into orbit. I'm not against being sentimental either, but if the money doesn't exist to maintain two space observatories, I know I'd choose to get an all new one.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Chris Burke (6130)
            I'm not against being sentimental either, but if the money doesn't exist to maintain two space observatories, I know I'd choose to get an all new one.

            That really isn't the choice. There isn't a replacement waiting in the wings that we can choose to launch instead. According to the WP article on HST [wikipedia.org], there may be a newer telescope that would be ready to launch in 2010, but that project is currently unfunded and thus that launch date should be pushed back by the time it would take to get funding. The JWST
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gstoddart (321705)

            A lot of the "save Hubble" defense seems to be more sentimental than practical. I'm not saying it should be tossed in the bin just because it's old, but it IS old, and technology has advanced tremendously since it was put into orbit.

            I think it would be a shame to have no functioning space-based telescope.

            If they don't fix it, it will be a whole lot of years before (or, indeed, if) they get around to putting up a replacement. I can envision them not repairing Hubble, and then ultimately not putting up a rep

          • by neurostar (578917)

            I'm not saying it should be tossed in the bin just because it's old, but it IS old, and technology has advanced tremendously since it was put into orbit.

            This doesn't have any relation to the potential for valuable science. The fact of the matter is, there's still a huge amount of science that could be done with hubble. Even though it's not state of the art (and no satellite has state of the art components, because of the amount of testing that needs to be done to ensure they'll operate properly in space)

            • by Firethorn (177587)
              it still would make large valuable contributions to astronomy.

              On the other hand, as others have already stated technology has progressed to the point that ground telescopes are meeting and exceeding the Hubble's capabilities.

              If for the cost of a servicing mission you can set up a ground observatory that can meet or exceed the hubble's capabilies and cost less to maintain, it makes no sense to keep the hubble operational.

              Now, if you take those funds and dedicate them to replacing hubble with something that w
    • Re:Not Only Money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dslbrian (318993) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:38AM (#16594326)

      There's way more than money at stake here. Maybe Hubble is worth the risk to the astronaut's lives, but you can't just ignore that issue.

      Thats the core of the debate I'm sure, but its a ridiculous point. Space travel is always a risk to an astronaut. If astronauts have a problem with the risks involved then they should get a different job. I'm sure there is a whole line of would be astronauts ready to take their place. Its was a risk when they first put the Hubble in place, and when they serviced it the first time. The risk is unchanged since then, in fact it should be lower since they now have ideas of what problems they may encounter.

      • by wass (72082) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:02AM (#16594750)
        Actually, several astronauts have spoken out in the past few years saying they were willing to go service Hubble again, despite the risks. Ie, they understand the huge scientific output that are at stake should Hubble be shut down. Additionally, the risks aren't greater than previous Hubble servicing missions, it's just that there are problems of which we were blissfully unaware previously.
        • Of course we should take into account the willingness of astronauts to go into space for this mission. Especially because astronauts are not prone to ignoring safety considerations, and so if they are willing they probably think it is reasonably safe to do so. But it is worth pointing out that in a certain sense an astronaut is not entirely a private citizen. When we lose an astronaut, it's a blow to the entire nation.

          I'm just saying that just because we have astronauts willing to go doesn't mean we can
      • The problem is not whether the astronauts are willing to die for what they do, it's whether or not the American public will be willing to keep paying for a program that they don't believe benefits them directly and keeps failing to bring people back alive. Another spectacular failure ala Apollo 1, Challenger, or Columbia and we may very well no longer have a manned space program. Yes the Hubble is valuable and worth saving, but we have to pick our battles. If anyone dies in low earth orbit in the next five
      • by westlake (615356)
        I'm sure there is a whole line of would be astronauts ready to take their place.

        There is a world of difference between the would-be astronaut and the astronaut qualified for EVA and repair of the Hubble.

        It is for NASA to decide when and where to put its people at risk.

    • OTOH if NASA didn't have to do everything on the cheap, the astronauts would hopefully be at less risk every time they go up. Heck, it seems more dangerous now that it was in the 60's.
    • Re:Not Only Money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16594392)
      Maybe Hubble is worth the risk to the astronaut's lives, but you can't just ignore that issue.

      You're kidding, right? Anyone who manages to become an astronaut knows full well about the risks, and chose it anyway. If we were having to conscript people to go fix Hubble it would be one thing, but since the line of people who would volunteer to do it would stretch all the way from the launchpad to the vehicle assembly building, I say we let them do it!

      <flamebait>Besides, it's not any riskier than being a soldier in Iraq...</flamebait>

      • [flamebait]Besides, it's not any riskier than being a soldier in Iraq...[/flamebait]

        Since I'm biting on the flamebait, I'm not going to waste the time crunching numbers, but I think if you did you would be supprised just how much safer you are in Iraq over being an astronaut (percentage wise that is).
        -nB

        • Yep, that's why I used the "flamebait" tags. I was speaking in hyperbole.

        • by omeomi (675045)
          but I think if you did you would be supprised just how much safer you are in Iraq over being an astronaut (percentage wise that is).

          but the view is much nicer from space (I imagine, anyway...there's not much chance that I'll ever go to either location...)
    • by kitzilla (266382)
      I agree. Hubble is immensely valuable, but the Shuttle is a third fatal disaster waiting to happen. And a Hubble rescue is many degrees more dangerous than a standard jaunt to ISS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      it sounds like a no brainer to me but the people who hold the purse strings are rarely predictable when it comes to spending money.

      There's way more than money at stake here. Maybe Hubble is worth the risk to the astronaut's lives, but you can't just ignore that issue.

      This is going to sound cold - but its realistic.

      The astronauts lives really aren't worth considering. They are volunteers and know the score - and there are hundreds if not thousands more where they came from. OTOH, the Orbiters are

    • by khallow (566160)

      There's way more than money at stake here. Maybe Hubble is worth the risk to the astronaut's lives, but you can't just ignore that issue.

      I don't see ignoring the issue as the problem here. Hubble or a replacement for it is worth the risk to astronauts' lives.
  • by Zarniwoop (25791) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:32AM (#16594244)
    It's not just money. It's risk of a shuttle launch. You may remember we've had a few... issues... recently with that.

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:38AM (#16594336)
    wants to relive the heady days of the space race and the Apollo program - President Dubya is tired of this "Science for the sake of knowledge" stuff and wants to put men on the Moon and Mars.

    Besides, our current president is (seemingly) not quite sharp enought to get most of what science discovers using the HST. He'd rather have "feet on the ground" as it were, telling him things like "We've landed and claimed Mars in the name of the USA" rather than "We've made a startling discovery regarding the dynamics of planetary formation within stellar nurseries".

    That said, maybe it is time we went back to the true promise of space exploration - getting mankind out into the Galaxy. There is a certain attraction to the notion of manned space exploration versus robotic/remote methods. Certainly a kind of heroic appeal to the act itself; and all of our robotic/remote exploration was and is intended to ultimately pave the way for manned exploration anyhow. Perhaps we know enough now to take those first tenative steps into space.

    Like most coins, this one appears to have two sides.

    • There is a certain attraction to the notion of manned space exploration versus robotic/remote methods. Certainly a kind of heroic appeal to the act itself; and all of our robotic/remote exploration was and is intended to ultimately pave the way for manned exploration anyhow
      So refit Hubble with a secondary camera/lens to be able to track the maned explorations and sell it as a new reality TV show. Really. The best part of The Space Race was that everyone actually cared. Imagine if people were as excited a
    • "There is a certain attraction to the notion of manned space exploration versus robotic/remote methods."

      The biggest benefit is all is the endless supply of resources and energy one could harvest, it certainly would change the dynamics of have vs. have not, there are enough resources out there to give everyone on earth a standard of living many times higher then it is now.

      That and manned spaceflight would no doubt help enable us to learn to make better spacecraft overtime, and advance our knowledge on how to
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      President Bush knows, or at least his handlers know, that US space exploration needs the support of the public. While a great many things can be hidden away in a budget as vast as the US Federal government's there is considerable political danger in diverting money to something unpopular.

      Consider that while the push to put a human on the moon was mostly a marketing campaign the end result was that the public was happy to see large sums of their money spent on it. The shuttle program had similar hype but

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      our current president is (seemingly) not quite sharp enought to get most of what science discovers using the HST. He'd rather have "feet on the ground" ... maybe it is time we went back to the true promise of space exploration - getting mankind out into the Galaxy. There is a certain attraction to the notion of manned space exploration versus robotic/remote methods. Certainly a kind of heroic appeal to the act itself

      Well, which is it? He's dumb if he's not, himself, able to process the cosmological cooln
    • > Besides, our current president is (seemingly) not quite sharp enough
      > to get most of what science discovers using the HST.

      "Seemingly" is quite appropriate here since Bush's grades were higher than Gore's [washingtonpost.com].
  • The debate (Score:4, Insightful)

    by styryx (952942) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:40AM (#16594354)
    Is the cost of building and launching a new and better satellite going to much more expensive than training astronauts, sending them to hubble to fix it and bringing them back down again?

    Perhaps they could take the space elevator...:b
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Waffle Iron (339739)
      Given the unreliability and outrageous costs of shuttle launches, it would probably be quicker and cheaper to take the backup mirror out of the Smithsonian Institution, build a new copy of the Hubble with it, and launch it on an expendable rocket. Unfortunately, in the mind of budget directors, that would be a "new project", and it would be harder to fund than just shoveling yet more money into the shuttle black hole.
  • Zap Brannigan is just going to blow it up anyway.
  • Don't.

    Yeah I know, the astronauts know the risks involved. Yet the risk is bigger to who manned space program should something go wrong, especially something going wrong on a mission that is "largely" optional.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      Yeah I know, the astronauts know the risks involved. Yet the risk is bigger to who manned space program should something go wrong, especially something going wrong on a mission that is "largely" optional.

      The only space missions that are not entirely optional are the ones that involve recovering crew from a space station.

      If we can't afford the risk to service Hubble, then we can't afford the risk to do anything else in space and should just mothball the entire manned space program right now.

      The shuttle is no
  • If they decide not to do anything, couldn't some company claim it as salvage or abandoned property and then hire the Russians (or someone) to get up there an repair it?
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16594396) Homepage Journal
    They should send a temp up there to fix it, perhaps the one who busted the damn thing in the first place. [wikipedia.org] That'd teach him.
  • Replace it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ironicsky (569792) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:43AM (#16594402) Journal
    If its going to cost millions/billions to fix hubble we could just replace it with modern technology. Better yet, we could have a H Prize to replace hubble. Let the private sector try to launch their own. I mean, if they can launch a shuttle to space let them do other things. NASA Cant seem to do it for under a billion.

    • already done (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quadraginta (902985)
      Hubble's replacement is the James Webb Telescope [nasa.gov], and has been in the works for a long time. Slated for launch in 2013, it will have a 6.5 meter primary mirror (Hubble's is 2.4 meters), be optimized for the near-infrared (so it can see through dust clouds, and further back in time and/or farther away), and orbit at the second Lagrange point about a million miles from Earth, instead of right around Earth like Hubble. That means it won't be bothered by light from the Earth, so it can see far dimmer things,
  • Benefit to mankind (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swestcott (44407) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:48AM (#16594488) Homepage
    As the whole world has benefited maybe we could pass around the hat to get this funded
    • by teslar (706653)
      I don't want to be cynical, but aside from the tiny fraction of people people with philosophical interests in space or who like pictures of nebulae on their desktop, nobody benefits from hubble. It doesn't pay your bills, it doesn't get you laid, it doesn't stop war, it can do zilch against hunger on earth, it basically doesn't solve any practical, every day problems at all.
  • by lokedhs (672255) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:50AM (#16594518)
    There are ground-based telescopes that produces much better pictures than what Hubble can produce these days. I believe that the choice to abandon it may very well simply be a result of some simple maths. The same scientific results can be had cheaper by using the VLT [wikipedia.org]. Here's an interesting quote from the Wikipedia article:

    The VLTs are equipped with a large set of instruments permitting observations to be performed from the near-UV to the mid-IR (ie a large fraction of the light wavelengths accessible from the surface of the Earth), with the full range of techniques including high-resolution spectroscopy, multi-object spectroscopy, imaging, and high-resolution imaging. In particular, the VLT has several Adaptive optics systems, which at infrared wavelengths correct for the effects of the atmospheric turbulence, providing images almost as sharp as if the telescope was in space. In the near-IR, the Adaptive Optics images of the VLT are up to 3 times sharper than those of the HST, and the spectroscopic resolution is many times better than Hubble. The VLTs are noted for their high level of observing efficiency and automation.
    • by gerardrj (207690) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:00AM (#16594708) Journal
      Exactly. In the 16 years since it's launch our technology has improved dramatically. We have learned to make super large mirrors, flexible mirrors, and other such improvements to the optical systems. We can now use a laser and either flexible mirrors or computers to remove the distortion of the atmosphere. We've gained the compute power to build arrays of smaller scopes to build a "virtual" telescope orders of magnitude larger than any single reflector in the array.
      On top of that we've also sent up other spacecraft, or are building them, that dwarf Hubble's capabilities.

      Hubble does have the rather unique ability to stay parked on a single target, continuously, for very long periods of time. No Earth based scope can do that. But again, there are smaller, faster, cheaper craft in service or coming on line soon that will have better imaging and better processing power.

      I don't know that Hubble should be repaired and kept operating, but I do think it should be brought back to Earth for placement in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
      • by syousef (465911)
        Well let me preface this by saying I have a Masters in Astronomy.

        You're talking rubbish. Where do you get your information? Star Trek episodes?

        You can't "use a laser and either flexible mirrors or computers to remove the distortion of the atmosphere". Adaptive optics can compensate for the distortion to differing degrees at different frequencies. You don't get anything for free. You can't simply magically remove the atmosphere with techology and get exactly the same results. Also while our technology has mo
  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:56AM (#16594626)
    I can't imagine NASA doing it for loss of face, but since a Soyuz launch is $5m vs $50M for the shuttle (which is anyway overbooked for the short remainder of it's lifetime), couldn't NASA just pay the Ruskies to take their Hubble repairman up for a day trip?

  • by AIXadmin (10544) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:57AM (#16594656) Homepage
    I love posts like this. I am so glad the poster had all the information NASA officials have in front of them. Plus a distinguished panel of experts to advise them. One minute we say NASA is great for having the foresight to put Hubble up their. Then we rag on them when they think the money could get more bang for the buck somewhere else.
  • The real problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:26AM (#16595164)
    As I understand it, the real problem is that a service mission would cost more than a replacement for the Hubble; which would have better optics, improved insturments, better reliability, etc.
    • by khallow (566160)
      I haven't heard pricing estimates for a Hubble replacement, but I doubt they could get one for less than a billion USD. That would be about the marginal cost of two repair missions. But if they can launch such a telescope for less than half a billion USD, then you are correct.
  • So why don't we have a hubble2 yet? IMHO NASA should send up a new version of the hubble every 2-4 years.
  • If there's no more Hubble, where do I get my computer desktops?

    Sell it to the NSA. Get around the "don't point it at the ground" limitation. Sell it on the basis of our need to see down every cleavage in the world, in case they're carrying bombs in there.
  • The sooner we let it go, the sooner we get a bigger better space telescope. Hubble's low hanging fruit has been harvested. Time to upgrade.
  • by macserv (701681) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:49PM (#16604500)
    I usually refrain, but this post was damned near unreadable. Punctuation and capitalization are important.

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