Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hubble repair mission gets the go-ahead from NASA

NASA has officially announced that the shuttle will be used to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, in mission STS-125 set for 2008. Hopefully Hubble will survive until then...

From the BBC article:

Dr Griffin's decision reverses that of his predecessor, Sean O'Keefe, who cancelled the planned visit in the wake of the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003.

This is certainly the correct decision - both benefiting science and making sense economically. The indefinite delays arising from the last Shuttle disaster have cost NASA a huge amount of money that would otherwise have been spent on doing other astrophysics, and has caused real funding problems for US astronomers (in particular those not associated with HST-based science).

No doubt Maryland's hard working and influential (democratic) Senator Barbara Mikulski has had a large part to play in making this repair/servicing mission a reality.

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