View Full Version : Discussion: Hubble Instrument Fails

2004-Aug-09, 05:42 PM
SUMMARY: NASA announced on Friday that one of Hubble's four science instruments has failed, and they're not sure if they can get it working again. The instrument is called the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), and it's designed to detect black holes and measure the temperature of stars. Engineers think that its backup power converter has failed; unfortunately, it already lost its primary power converter almost three years ago. The STIS was installed during a servicing mission in 1997, and it's already exceeded its planned lifespan of 5 years.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Aug-09, 05:48 PM
It is sad to see instruments on Hubble start to fail.

Hopefully the successors to Hubble will make comparable achievements in space science.

With kind regards,


2004-Aug-09, 07:04 PM
I had been reading some very sad things before, such as some people at NASA who considered letting Hubble burn up
this is a sad day for science and astronomy, hopefully we can get Hubble back in full action and quickly repaired as soon as possible

2004-Aug-10, 12:23 AM
NASA needs to quit hanging on to old programs, like hubble, and the shuttle. Hubble was pretty crippled from the start. With modern technology, we could put up fully functional space telescopes, which would be worlds more accurate and useful for the scientific community. In fact, it would be nice to see several thrown up there. Stuff breaks. Old stuff breaks when it gets old. Get new stuff.

Actually, I'm rooting for TPF, though it will be a long time before they pull that one out of the wastebasket and start doing something with it.

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Aug-10, 08:57 AM
NASA has said it wants to retire the telescope, so I imagine this failure suits them. I would like to see a private astronomical telescope development programme. That would wake up the governmental space industry.

Or indeed maybe another country could deploy one.

2004-Sep-05, 05:00 AM
we need hubble, save it !

2004-Sep-05, 07:34 PM
Well, I'm sure that if NASA tried, they could easily repair the disfunctional mechanism.

Also, there are other ways to retire the Hubble rather than to just simply let it burn up. Among them are: Taking it apart in space and having the space shuttle take it down, so we can preserve it in a museum. Secondly, we can attach it to the space station for starters, or take it apart and stow it inside the ISS somewhere.

If taking the Hubble back down in the hangar section of a space shuttle is doable, I think it better to let Hubble float around in space until the very last of the series of shuttle missions, so Hubble can be put away at the same time as the space shuttles; make it a more precise, and emotional, end to an era.

2004-Sep-05, 07:59 PM
The more I read about Hubble and the means by which its instruments can be replaced, the more dubious I become about the sensability of saving it. The cost of sending the robot repair system to it is estimated at about 1.3Billion US dollars, with a maybe 60% chance of success.

The cost of sending a new spacecraft with the two already built instruments for Hubble is something like $400,000,000 US. Add another spacecraft to replace the other two instruments on hubble at about $550,000,000 and the cost is less. Further, with Hubble you have to allot for 1 instrument to do science while the others do what ever is available in the same area--usually nothing or very little. With 2 craft, you would double the observing efficiency.

They will not send a shuttle to Hubble. Won't happen unless there is a a complete reversal of thier mandate and I don;t see that happening anytime soon.