PDA

View Full Version : Discussion: Three Fates for Hubble



Fraser
2003-Aug-18, 07:07 AM
SUMMARY: A NASA panel released three options for the future of the Hubble Space Telescope after its last servicing mission in 2004 or 2005 which will extend its life to 2010. The first idea is to do another servicing mission in 2010 and keep Hubble operating as long as possible. The second option is to just do the single servicing mission around 2006 and install a propulsion device which would allow NASA to de-orbit the telescope by remote control. And the third possibility is to launch a robotic mission that will attach a propulsion device so Hubble can be de-orbited later.


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

cyberbum
2003-Aug-18, 08:04 PM
NASA is not getting more money than previously, in fact, it is taking budget cuts. I therefore feel that existing projects should be improved, serviced and used for as long as possible, untill something better can be afforded, and implemented. Hubble is doing valuable work, and should not be taken offline.

pHoSfEe
2003-Aug-18, 08:07 PM
I'm completely with cyberbum.
NASA should just keep the thing until they cannot use it because it's too primitive or too costly compared to newer space telescopes.

- YMP

Jim Smith
2003-Aug-18, 08:13 PM
Would it be at all possible to send reconfigure and Hubble out into space. It could send pictures back to us for a long time and from far away. Perhaps we could put it into orbit around another planet.

patricia fitzgerald
2003-Aug-18, 09:06 PM
since ground based telescopes have now been developed that can do as good a job as hubble-why put money into hubble at all?

Guest_zephyr46
2003-Aug-19, 12:40 AM
I'm a big fan of sending somthing like Hubble into space, maybe with Cbe and XXM, for a higher tangent observation of the milky way, this pre-occupation with deorbiting hubble reeks of the disposable society, if hubble could be fitted with a fisheye, it could be the first and largest Concam, I am no engineer but if satelites can be recycled, It would seem to be cheaper than disposing of it. I"m sure that there would be more than a couple of universities on earth that would love some time on Hubble as it is. A Donation to the universities of Earth with corporate sponsorship ? Come on, if Hubble were mine, it's not the sort of thing I would smash because I got a better one. Give it to an Op Shop :)

e_vsevin
2003-Aug-19, 01:07 AM
I think that the first question should be, what is going to happen with the shuttle?
I assume there is too much national pride involved in just abandoning the program, not to say that would probably also be the end of the ISS. As long as we are putting up devices in near earth orbit that require periodic attendance, we are going to need a means of accomplishing that. Are there better ways of spending :( our money? Beats the cost of a war. :(

Guest_zephyr46
2003-Aug-19, 01:29 AM
True, I think where the shuttle is concerned, new ones are the go, I think though that payloads could be sent up separate to crews. The ISS should be a workshop and staging post, human missions don't need to be tied to massive cargo launches, if NASA decides that the shuttle programme isn't too old, safety is the test, how many more shuttles go down before age becomes the issue. Or options when concerns are raised, A lifeboat programme, return trips from the ISS also!

rocketa
2003-Aug-19, 02:21 AM
As past programs, like X-33, have shown, we don't seem to be capable of creating a new orbiter. The problem may be that talent has expired. It takes years of doing it to be a successful rocketeer.

We need to try harder with more support- the X-33 may have made it without a couple of political decisions that stopped it short (not very short though!). That kind of thinking happens frequently (you said you would use composite tanks, if we don't get composite tanks we will scrap the program!).

Then again, the way is open for "new" technology if it shows up soon enough...

TangoKilo 421
2003-Aug-19, 07:02 PM
I agree that we are too much a "disposable society." The Hubble Space Telescope has not outlived its usefulness to
acedemia. It should be left in orbit for as long as possible and perhaps turned over to a consortium of universities.

If all else fails, bring it home! I realize that the loss of Columbia reduced our ability to land with heavy payloads. However,
there should be sufficient ability for any of the remaining orbiters to bring the HST home. And perhaps by the time HST has
outlived its usefullness, there will be another vehicle on-line that can do the job. I for one would relish the experience of
visiting the Smithsonian Institution and seeing the Hubble first-hand.

What has happened the the Can Do spirit of the space program? Squashed by the political decisions, no doubt.

imported_James
2003-Aug-19, 07:36 PM
The cost of maintenance is very high as there must be a single purpose mission for that job. Otherwise, a regular schedule of maintenance and upgrades could be planned and implemented. Why not make that possible? All it would take is to place it where it is more accessible. How about the space station? Either attached or in close orbital proximity would make it accessible. The cost for changing the orbit should not be any more than dumping it into the earth's atmosphere for an ocean splash down. So what if it takes years for Hubbell to reach the space station? As long as it arrives before its next scheduled upgrade, the savings will be immediate and major. The money saved could be used for future upgrades. I am a firm believer that even binoculars improve a person's ability to see the night sky. So why throw away such an awesome tool while most astronomers must use far inferior tools for their work?

May the future be kind to you
Boycott SPAM

---===---

scott
2003-Aug-20, 02:49 PM
here's a thought on what to do with the hubble telescope; maybe beef up the signal if needed, give it allthe tune-ups it may need, and give it the prupolsion it needs, so that we could deep space it, and allow the telescope continued images for as long as possible, and without a predetermined course, allowing the heavans decide it's course, delivering us unexpected data

Tigran
2003-Aug-20, 05:15 PM
OK, I'll post it here as well.
===========================

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

============================

imported_James
2003-Aug-20, 07:27 PM
Tigran:
I always presumed that there was a team working on making use of the data presented in the Hubbell images. I wonder if that data is publicly accessible? You seem to have some information and I am wondering if you can share it with us here.

May the future be kind to you
Boycott SPAM

---===---

Fraser
2003-Aug-20, 07:36 PM
Hubble data is freely available on the Internet here:

http://archive.stsci.edu/

Many astronomy "discoveries" are made by people analyzing old data for new kinds of objects. Asteroids, moons, supernovae, etc have all been discovered after the fact.

Guest
2003-Aug-21, 12:33 AM
Hook it up to the ISS! Love it! park it within a space walk distance, or maybe we need a dump where we could collect all the space junk and hubble could be scavenged as scrap. I have wondered about new talent at NASA, it's hard to believe that we are the same people who went to the Moon (conspiricy theory aside). I was thinking the X prize might produce a people lifter shuttle replacement, thats why I thought sticking to rockets for cargo made sense. I didn't know there was an archive of hubble data, thanks Fraser, I'll certainly check it out, hope there are some shots of proxima.
I hope Nasa didn't just produce the peak of humanities thought and exploration and we are all on the decline now.
If there was one direction I would Fling Hubble, Galactic North Or South Sol centered, I would like a glimpse of the shape of the milky way before I die (not intending to die soon!) even better, if you all know the multiwavelength milky way website:

http://adc.gsfc.nasa.gov/mw/milkyway.html

a multi spectral probe GN and GS. but Hubble yeah, a slow continous pan of the galactic plane, Hmm

thelonewolf37
2003-Aug-21, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by Guest_zephyr46@Aug 19 2003, 12:40 AM
...deorbiting hubble reeks of the disposable society...

I"m sure that there would be more than a couple of universities on earth that would love some time on Hubble as it is.
I agree with the disposable society angle. We should get every possible bit of use out of Hubble. If it's obsolete, recreate it!

That is exactly what I was thinking -- We could have every university (or high school, for that matter) in the country (or the world, for that matter) wired to get time on Hubble. (I think it's called the internet, or something like that...) They could email their requests to NASA, NASA would do whatever needs to be done to fill the request, and the "customers" would get their data. Wouldn't we all have loved to take an "Intro to Deep Space Astronomy" lab class in high school or college?

Hey, NASA could even sell Hubble time on eBay! (said only half jokingly)

quizzler2
2003-Aug-21, 08:32 PM
Let's keep Hubble on line as long as possible. It has done good work in the past and with budget cutbacks the way they are, they need to keep Hubble flying until its successor is online.

Mickey
2003-Aug-21, 08:32 PM
I think, Congress should continue to fund the repair and/or refurbishment of the Hubble until its replacement is launched and successfully placed in its orbit and is functioning. At that point NASA should relenquish to maintenance and repair of Hubble to the consortium of Universites which now controls and benefits from it. The consortium can either decide to add new members to cover maintenance costs or decide that it is too expensive and let it re-enter the atmosphere or relenquish it to yet other agencies as may be willing to maintain it.
With Hubble no longer a NASA problem, NASA can look to its other projects. Perhaps by then a commercial company will be available to repair or refurbish the Hubble.

Mickey

Alaskan
2003-Aug-21, 08:36 PM
Attach to space station

Fraser
2003-Aug-21, 09:17 PM
You can't easily attach it to the station, it's in a different orbit.

Hubble's location is here:
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/temp/HubbleLoc.html

The Space Station is here:
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/temp/StationLoc.html

Now, put the two pictures up in two different windows and hit reload every few minutes and you'll see how they're nowhere near each other. The only way to do what you're describing would be for the Shuttle to go up to Hubble and carry it back down to Earth. Then, launch again in a few months and dock with the International Space Station and they can attach it.

Why keep it on the station? Hubble can be perfectly controlled remotely from Earth. The problem with sending Hubble deep into space is that it was designed to be repaired from Earth. If a gyro goes down, astronauts can swap in a new one. As soon as it gets away from low-earth-orbit, we can't repair it any more.

What makes me grumpy is the fact that NASA is making this an either-or situation. Why do we have to choose between Hubble OR the Webb Telescope. Hubble is one of the most important scientific instruments ever created; while Webb is going to make amazing advances to science. Both should be funded. If money needs to be cut, it should come from somewhere else.

I read somewhere, though, that a new space telescope like Hubble could be built for the cost of two shuttle flights. When you think that NASA is considering two servicing missions that means we could have a brand new space telescope instead for that price... do you still want to keep Hubble?

rocketa
2003-Aug-21, 10:06 PM
It is an incredible insult to the American Public that NASA even considers bringing Hubble down. We have a bunch of money and a bunch of lives risked to get it there and maintain it. There are hundreds of organizations and persons who wanted to use the Hubble and never got time booked to use it. You are also insulting them by saying you might just destroy such a precious instrument. Leave it there, endow it to a private organization, sell it to a corporation anything but destroy it.

Fraser
2003-Aug-21, 10:40 PM
I've heard that there's a wait factor for Hubble of 6x. So, there is 6 times as much time requested as can be supplied by Hubble. It's clearly still in demand.

Guest
2003-Aug-22, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Aug 18 2003, 07:07 AM
SUMMARY: A NASA panel released three options for the future of the Hubble Space Telescope after its last servicing mission in 2004 or 2005 which will extend its life to 2010. The first idea is to do another servicing mission in 2010 and keep Hubble operating as long as possible. The second option is to just do the single servicing mission around 2006 and install a propulsion device which would allow NASA to de-orbit the telescope by remote control. And the third possibility is to launch a robotic mission that will attach a propulsion device so Hubble can be de-orbited later.


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

Locke
2003-Aug-22, 06:18 AM
NASA needs to upgrade their technology a bit. We're still running off of 1970's modules of the shuttle! Maybe if we found a cheaper more offiecient was of space travel, NASA's budget would increase.

Locke

Charles Bell
2003-Aug-23, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the link to Multimission Archive at STScI

The internet is a data rich place, if you can find the data.

Fraser
2003-Aug-23, 12:46 AM
The shuttle isn't as old as you think it is. NASA technicians completely overhaul the shuttle after each trip. That's why they cost $500 million to launch and require 30,000 people to maintain. The shuttle that flies today shares very little of the stuff built in the 70s.

imported_Voyager
2003-Aug-23, 01:19 AM
I believe that they should get the full service of the telescope by using it for as long as they can. I mean why throw it away when it's still useful?