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Fraser
2003-Aug-01, 05:48 PM
SUMMARY: The Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most important scientific instruments ever created, is entering the final chapter of its life, and NASA is trying to figure out what they should do with it. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, and it's expected to continue operations until 2010, when it's replaced by the James Webb observatory which will launch in 2011. NASA has convened a special panel of experts to determine the best way to handle the transition.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

jsc248
2003-Aug-01, 07:53 PM
:angry: Hello to all,
I have followed the exploits of HST since it's launch, and I am quite angry to think that NASA even has to think about what to do with this remarkable piece of astronomical engineering. Hubble should be recaptured by a shuttle mission and brought back for preservation at a prestigious location. I, for one, can see no other end for such a landmark telescope. I know that the shuttle program is on temporary hold but by the time Hubble reaches it's final transmition, the STS should be (hopefully) up and running. Does anyone else feel this way?
jsc248

corkft
2003-Aug-01, 09:21 PM
:) I say, give it a new energy source, strap an ion engine to it and send it towards Andromeda

Fraser
2003-Aug-01, 10:29 PM
jsc248,

What if the shuttle retrieving Hubble had an accident? Do you think it's worth risking astronaut lives so that we can bring it back and put it into a museum? It's enormously heavy and would change the flight dynamics of the shuttle considerably - probably increasing the chance of a mishap. I don't think that's a decision any shuttle flight director could make easily, considering what just happened with Columbia.

Considering NASA's remarkable track record keeping missions alive for years after they were supposed to end, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't use Hubble until they can't squeeze another drop of science out of it: probably in a couple of decades.

richscom
2003-Aug-01, 11:09 PM
:( I think that is just sad to see our dearly beloved hubble have to go!!!

philip slater
2003-Aug-01, 11:38 PM
Given that sort of time scale all sorts of other options arise. It always seems wrong, after hauling any material or equipment of any sort out of the Earth-induced gravitic declivity, to allow it to fall back again. Let alone the historic Hubble.

Eventually, whenever it is deemed no longer cost-effective to maintain it in its present orbit, the best thing might be to allow Hubble to subside gently to the surface of the moon where it can be maintained much more easily as a working exhibit at whichever moon base is prepared to bid the most for it as a tourist attraction.

Philip

Guest
2003-Aug-02, 12:07 AM
Why not move it over and attach it to the Space Station? It would only cost a little bit relative to other processes, repairs would be easier to make, and it could be used when and where funds presented themselves. The fact that better telescopes are being built on earth does not negate the value of the old ones. This does not waste the launch money. Even if in the end, it becomes a large cylindrical storage bay it would be better than simply "bringing it down."

Fraser
2003-Aug-02, 12:38 AM
The problem is that Hubble's on a different orbit from the Station. There's no easy way to get it over there. You'd have to connect a massive rocket to change its orbit.

kashi
2003-Aug-02, 01:36 AM
Why can't you leave it up there, functional or not, until we have the technology to bring it back safely and without endangering human life?

Robert Shannon
2003-Aug-02, 04:34 AM
There should be no discussion what to do with the Hubble Telescope. A shuttle launched it, A shuttle should retrieve it & it should be put on display at the Metropolitian Museum of Science. The cost of the mission will be astrnomical, "so what" think of everything this telescope has provided to the scientific community.

memo
2003-Aug-02, 10:18 PM
No one takes my idea seriously,so i will make this short and sweet. Why couldnt the hubble society maintain control of the scope,but allow astro clubs buy time on the scope for a modest fee for upkeep,the rest is to long to write.Can you imagine looking through the hubble.How could we get nasa to listen. thanks for listening.

Fraser
2003-Aug-02, 10:40 PM
If Hubble can be used for science, NASA will keep it operating. Probably long after its original lifespan. Mark my words, Hubble will be running in 2020.

John M. Burt
2003-Aug-03, 04:58 AM
Once a piece of hardware has had a launch into orbit invested in it, it should *not* be casually discarded or "de-orbited", not even for museum display.

Use it, mothball it, cannibalize it, whatever, but in orbit.

TwAgIssmuDe
2003-Aug-03, 05:03 PM
Why not upgrade its camera and install a larger transmision dish, and send it to the egde of the solarsystem. To take some remakable pictures of the universe, as never seen before.
That way it would still serve as an important astronomical and science instrument and still be oparational for even longer time.

What do you think :)

Kevin Milburn
2003-Aug-04, 12:24 AM
I think NASA should either go retrieve Hubble and bring it back for display on earth or send a shuttle crew up to attach some sort of motor large enough to lift it into a much higher orbit where it could continue to serve as a space observatory.

Even if as a space observatory, it's used by amateurs so what. At least it will be still used.

NASA still has that throw away mentality, you'd think it would have changed by now. I try to recycle everything, why shouldn't NASA?

People who use the "it might endanger astronaut lives" excuse don't seem to mind sending astronauts up to the International Space Station.

Besides if the new space telescope doesn't have ultra-violet capability, why not keep Hubble aloft and use it for ultra-violet observation?

mrdjscsc
2003-Aug-04, 10:42 AM
Given that we are talking about 2010 before the final act is committed, and the scientific community loses the HST, surely there should be an option to reboost HST, and update it to give it a longer life. Otherwise, were NASA simply to discard it, there are echoes of its failure to save Skylab.

The HST is an international scientific resource, and should not be lost. Even if NASA does not want to foot the bill for supporting it, the potential for commercial space launch RLVs to offer an alternative access for servicing and upgrade should not be discounted, and the whole operation could be privatised. (Microsoft Space Telescope perhaps???)

Furthermore, imagine the huge loss to the scientific community if HST is lost, and then JWST is never built because of cost cuts, or because we lose another shuttle? Then we have no space telescope available. Then we would all be saying "what a waste, why did not NASA do something earlier if they knew they would lose such a valuable resource"!

Malcolm

Arramon
2003-Aug-04, 03:32 PM
Oh... if Hubble could only see below it now, and not just above =)
you people are great!!
it seems that we see the extent to which this machine has reached....
and its even farther than we thought...
its reaching within...

=)


i like the idea about strapping a propulsion unit to it... and sending it out to explore, but that would take alot more than just an engine... more like a whole team of engineers to rebuild it for flight capacity... not just of an orbital function.
and putting it in an even further orbit sounds good.. and more likely, but still, it would need some major repairs.... i dont think that they should stick it in a musuem somewhere, because thats technology that is STILL very useful to us, and will be for awhile... putting it on the moon is the best bet, especially if a base is established... repairs/upgrades/additions/new lenses/new processors/and not to mention the lack of earth glow from its distance from us.... all would be beneficial to a lab on the moon.... and the good thing is, the Hubble is already built, so we wouldn't need to come up with something new and more expensive...

We just need to be able to move around within our own space better than we can now, since we really can't, seeing as how our space fleet is alittle lacking rightnow... (ahem..... governments... cough-Bush!)

Hubble would be proud =)

. ..-={A}=-.. .

imported_quasar
2003-Aug-04, 10:39 PM
Yet again, NASA proves true scientific research should always take a back seat. While I believe the HST will continue to be useful to astronomers past 2010, I also believe that placing a much more powerful telescope in orbit that is capable of detecting earth-like planets should be one of NASA's primary goals. If NASA continues on its present course, it will become irrelevant. WAKE UP, NASA!!! :angry:

John Dedes
2003-Aug-05, 07:54 AM
:ph34r: The Hubble could be use to further mankinds knowledge, Im sure the USA can spare a couple of ICBM's{don't forget to "unscrew' the warheads :D } and a attachment coupling to the hubble on each side, and blast it to Mars, cheap and easy, several things can be achieved, firstly see how it appears from the hubble to travel closer to the speed of light, test interplanetary speeds that can be achieved, and much much more ...too many to mention here. The romantic concepts of museums and re-entry burn ups I think are the thing of the past. Once equipment is put into orbit it should be used to its full potential.

LunarBase
2003-Aug-05, 03:23 PM
What is the current and yearly maintenance cost of the Hubble (not usage cost but the cost to keep it in orbit and keept its equipment functioning)? Knowing this would help in deciding the best use for this marvelous instrument.

Just Jack
2003-Aug-05, 04:12 PM
Doing nothing with Hubble is not so simple. Since it looses altitude with time due to slight drag, it must be boosted by a shuttle. This is very expensive as all shuttle missions are. It also requires maintenance to gyros, computers and other parts. NASA is under great pressure to save money by Congress. Hopefully many new telescopes, especially interferometers, will soon be put in orbit, but unless you are young, you may not be around to see them.

C. Layton
2003-Aug-05, 11:31 PM
I believe funding should / will be found to keep Hubble up and running well past 2010. The amount of useful science coming from Hubble is just to valuable.

However, if the unimaginable happens I think that some of the more useful parts of Hubble should be scavenged and brought back to earth to be upgraded and possibly reused in another space astronomy project. Then Hubble can truly "live on" as it should, in space and not collecting dust in some museum.

polymath
2003-Aug-06, 05:02 PM
I would like to see the life of Hubble extended beyond 2010 which I am sure can be done although I realise that is already operating beyond its original planned life. But this has happened to all successful missions. eg Galileo. If NASA is unwilling to do tis perhaps some entrepreneur would buy it and run it on a commercial basis. But for god's sake don't just ground it or throw it away.

In addition NASA should go ahead with the JWST so that we end up with two 'scopes in space - there's more than enough work for both.. Think how many 'scopes we have on Earth and I have yet to hear of any complaints that they are underutilised.

Fraser
2003-Aug-06, 07:53 PM
I'm a little frustrated that NASA is forcing people to choose between Hubble and the James Webb observatory. This next generation observatory is going to be an incredible asset to astronomy, and the funding for it should be secure, as should the funding for Hubble. Take money away from something else if you have to, but Webb and Hubble should be funded no matter what.

Juan D. Rodriguez
2003-Aug-08, 02:06 PM
Hello!

I have some thoughts about the future of HST that I would like to explain:

1.- Itīs not easy to send a Space Telescope into orbit (a lot of money is needed, itīs a very difficult task, etc, etc...). But since 1990 Hubble is in space and working! So we shoud look after it as long as possible, in the same way we conserve carefully our books, art and, in general, own culture. Hubble Space Telescope is a part of our culture, so I think we should use it as long as possible to obtain scientific data. There is going to be only one Hubble Space Telescope and we are the fortunate generation of people that will "personally" know this venerable observatory. We should wait as long as possible to deorbit it: if it can work, lets keep it operating!

2.- There is no problem with having two -or more- space telescopes working at the same time (HST and James Webb Space Telescope). JWST is not replacing HST! People that is working with Chandra, XMM-Newton, or another telescopes that study the Universe in X-rays or gamma rays need HST. And probably JWST should need data from Hubble Space Telescope to study quite a lot of astronomical objects.

3.- JWST is not in Space. We donīt know if the launch of this new generation space telescope is going to be a success. If we deorbit HST before and there is some trouble with JWST... we will have no "backup".

Thanks.
Yours,
Juan D. Rodriguez.

Planetwatcher
2003-Aug-11, 07:01 PM
Okay here's my idea, which I had thought to use in my novel which I've quoted part of here. Just to set the scene.
The year is 2189 in this story and class is in session for cadets who will be on the first intersteller voyage. What follows here is part of a histroy lesson. The teacher is lecturing.


The next major event was the Parallax Project.
As you know parallax is how we measure distance to many of the stars by determining the
star's angle in the sky from Earth at two six month intervals."

As she explained she drew on the classroom viewscreen with her laser pointer. She
started with a small circle, and drew a much bigger circle around the small circle. On
opposite sides of the large circle she made two dots.
Then some distance from the large circle she drew another small circle. Finally she
connected that circle with each dot on the large circle.

"You see the first small circle represents the Sun, the larger circle represents Earth's orbit
around the Sun. The dots are Earth's positions six months apart. This other circle is a
nearby star, and the lines connecting it to Earth's two six month positions are the angle
from which we view the star. By using trigonometry, we can determine the distance to
that star. But it's effectiveness is limited to only the closest stars, because the angle
becomes to close to accurately measure at farther distances. To overcome this obstacle,
we needed a larger orbit, with two points to measure from of larger but known distance,
so that we would not have to wait until one point of contact made it to the opposite side
of orbit. Which is why the Parallax Project came to be.

Parallax One was the old Hubble Space Telescope orbiting the Sun opposite the planet
Jupiter. The other site was a small manned science station on one of Jupiter's Trojan
asteroids at the leading LaGrange point where Jupiter's gravity holds it in a stable orbit
without any means of propulsion. ion. [/I]

How about something like that?

pHoSfEe
2003-Aug-16, 11:09 PM
This is a reply to Fraser's second post in this subject.
Though bringing back the shuttle may increase the risk of error, and it may be dangerous, NASA (in my opinion) when the time comes will probably be ten times more careful if that's even possible considering how carefully they do things.
I say by the time Hubble becomes a useless orbiting piece of space junk, BRING IT DOWN!!! Technology will most likely be much more advanced by then, so we should be able to bring back the hubble telescope. I also say we should use it to the end. It doesn't matter if we use it as a toy for a classroom project or for use as a research tool to look into the universe. Just use it! Use it to the end!
ttyl everone!

- YMP

Tigran
2003-Aug-20, 11:52 AM
Well ... well ...

It's interesting to read all this posts about the future of HST.
How about the past and the present?

Do you really know how much not analyzed data is sitting
in HST archives ? I think enough to do some real science for
next couple of years :huh:

Mindy Lane
2003-Oct-16, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by jsc248@Aug 1 2003, 07:53 PM
:angry: Hello to all,
I have followed the exploits of HST since it's launch, and I am quite angry to think that NASA even has to think about what to do with this remarkable piece of astronomical engineering. Hubble should be recaptured by a shuttle mission and brought back for preservation at a prestigious location. I, for one, can see no other end for such a landmark telescope. I know that the shuttle program is on temporary hold but by the time Hubble reaches it's final transmition, the STS should be (hopefully) up and running. Does anyone else feel this way?
jsc248
:angry: [/QUOTE] I agree! My name is Mindy!

Lani
2003-Oct-16, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by jsc248@Aug 1 2003, 07:53 PM
:angry: Hello to all,
I have followed the exploits of HST since it's launch, and I am quite angry to think that NASA even has to think about what to do with this remarkable piece of astronomical engineering. Hubble should be recaptured by a shuttle mission and brought back for preservation at a prestigious location. I, for one, can see no other end for such a landmark telescope. I know that the shuttle program is on temporary hold but by the time Hubble reaches it's final transmition, the STS should be (hopefully) up and running. Does anyone else feel this way?
jsc248
I don't understand how NASA "doesn't know what to do with the Hubble"! It is an amazing thing, and we can do so much with it in the future! I think NASA should add on to it over time and make it better! I'm only a kid, and I don't know much about space and NASA, but I do know that the Hubble is great!

Aba Kadalaya
2003-Oct-18, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by corkft@Aug 1 2003, 09:21 PM
:) I say, give it a new energy source, strap an ion engine to it and send it towards Andromeda
I agree

Aba Kadalaya
2003-Oct-18, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by quasar@Aug 4 2003, 10:39 PM
Yet again, NASA proves true scientific research should always take a back seat. While I believe the HST will continue to be useful to astronomers past 2010, I also believe that placing a much more powerful telescope in orbit that is capable of detecting earth-like planets should be one of NASA's primary goals. If NASA continues on its present course, it will become irrelevant. WAKE UP, NASA!!! :angry:
:angry: People are more interested going to Mars because it sounds cooler then really researching topics. Yet I'm on the fence if you catch my drift.

Aba Kadalaya
2003-Oct-18, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by Aba Kadalaya+Oct 18 2003, 10:48 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aba Kadalaya @ Oct 18 2003, 10:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-corkft@Aug 1 2003, 09:21 PM
:) I say, give it a new energy source, strap an ion engine to it and send it towards Andromeda
I agree [/b][/quote]
Yet, I don&#39;t

zephyr46
2003-Oct-21, 04:33 AM
Planetwatcher, have you published yet? I love the Paralax (http://www.computing.edu.au/~bvk/astronomy/HET603/atlas/html/writeUp.html) project, I think mars is turning out to be a popular position. If I understand, Hubble needs ongoing maintenance, NASA needs a R2 unit. :)

Arramon
2003-Oct-21, 02:39 PM
:o
yes&#33;

R2-D2&#33;&#33;

Damn it man&#33; I said to get me a droid&#33; Not to make Hubble void&#33; :angry:

zephyr46
2003-Oct-22, 04:19 AM
King oath mate&#33; :D

R2-D2 and a reusable fleet of resupply ships, keep all the probes out there spick n span, +100 percent functional, Galileos antenna, Giotto, Near, new batteries, new fuel, new cammeras and processers, and a R2-D2 to keep things runnig smoothly, he can add a bit of extra thrust when needed, or run sample return missions (even delivering messages to the rebel allience :D ). but we should still set up some deep space relay stations, we could catch up with voyager one and two, maybe send a resupply mission after them, solar sail/Ion drive?
:)

related UT forum (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=5&t=473&st=0#entry5543)