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The Bad Astronomer
2003-Aug-14, 06:26 PM
The following is a NASA press release I just received.

Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington August 14, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1547)

RELEASE: 03-264

PANEL IDENTIFIES THREE OPTIONS FOR SPACE TELESCOPE TRANSITION

An independent panel of astronomers identified three
options for NASA to consider for planning the transition from
the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to the James Webb Space
Telescope (JWST) at the start of the next decade.

The panel, chaired by Prof. John Bahcall, Institute for
Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. chartered by NASA earlier
this year, submitted their report to the agency this week.

NASA's current plans are to extend the life of the HST to
2010 with one Space Shuttle servicing mission (SM 4) in 2005
or 2006. The plan is tentative pending the agency's return to
flight process and the availability of Shuttle missions. NASA
plans to eventually remove the HST from orbit and safely
bring it down into the Pacific Ocean.

"NASA is deeply appreciative to Prof. Bahcall and the panel
for getting this thoughtful report to us ahead of schedule,"
said Dr. Ed Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space
Science. "We have a big job to do to study the panel's
findings and consider our options, and we will respond as
soon as we have time to evaluate their report," Weiler said.

The three options presented by the HST-JWST Transition Plan
Review Panel, listed in order of priority, are:

"1. Two additional Shuttle servicing missions, SM4 in about
2005 and SM5 in about 2010, in order to maximize the
scientific productivity of the Hubble Space Telescope. The
extended HST science program resulting from SM5 would only
occur if the HST science was successful in a peer-reviewed
competition with other new space astrophysics proposals."

"2. One Shuttle servicing mission, SM4, before the end of
2006, which would include replacement of HST gyros and
installing improved instruments. In this scenario, the HST
could be de-orbited, after science operations are no longer
possible, by a propulsion device installed on the HST during
SM4 or by an autonomous robotic system."

"3. If no Shuttle servicing missions are available, a robotic
mission to install a propulsion module to bring the HST down
in a controlled descent when science is no longer possible."

In addition, the panel described various ways to ensure
maximum science return from the HST if none, one or two
Shuttle servicing missions are available.

"A lot of astronomers and NASA officials were astonished,
when we said our report was ready just one week after our
public meeting. This was possible because we reached
unanimous agreement on our conclusions very quickly;
remarkable when you consider there were six independent-
minded scientists on the panel. Our secret is we did our
homework very thoroughly. Many people helped to educate us,"
Bahcall said.

For information about NASA and space science on the Internet,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

The HST-JWST Transition Panel report is available on the
Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Public_Repo
rts.html

Information about the panel, including membership and
charter, is available at:

http://hst-jwst-transition.hq.nasa.gov/hst-jwst/

For information about the Hubble Space Telescope on the
Internet, visit:

http://oposite.stsci.edu/

For information about the James Webb Space Telescope on the
Internet, visit:

http://ngst.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Doodler
2003-Aug-14, 08:06 PM
Guess its do or die time come 2009 when they work out mission proposals for 2010. One way or the other though, doesn't look like they will attempt recovery.

ToSeek
2003-Aug-21, 06:41 PM
Space tug to the rescue!? (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=10083)

Brings up some of the points we've made about "What happens if JWST fails?"

ToSeek
2003-Dec-04, 05:31 PM
Hubble in limbo (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1117_1.asp)

More on the issue of what to do about Hubble.

kurtisw
2003-Dec-04, 06:26 PM
Guess its do or die time come 2009 when they work out mission proposals for 2010. One way or the other though, doesn't look like they will attempt recovery.

I think the loss of Columbia sealed Hubble's fate. While I rather like the idea of having Hubble in the Smithsonian, we all need to ask ourselves if it is worth the lives of five or so astronauts to put it there. Personally, I think not.

russ_watters
2003-Dec-04, 08:52 PM
I think its a remarkable testament to our engineering prowess when we have so many probes functioning so far outside their design operational parameters.

semi-sentient
2003-Dec-05, 02:43 PM
russ_watters
Bad Grad

Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Posts: 666 :evil:
Location: Philadelphia

^^^ hehe.

Anyway, I'd like to one day be able to visit the HST in a museum, so I hope the recovery process goes smoothly.

Diamond
2003-Dec-05, 04:11 PM
russ_watters

Anyway, I'd like to one day be able to visit the HST in a museum, so I hope the recovery process goes smoothly.

You're going to need a deep submersible. :wink:

Bean Counter
2003-Dec-05, 05:27 PM
russ_watters

Anyway, I'd like to one day be able to visit the HST in a museum, so I hope the recovery process goes smoothly.

You're going to need a deep submersible. :wink:

And a lot of super-glue.

semi-sentient
2003-Dec-05, 05:53 PM
Can't they just put a parachute on it so it doesn't smack the ocean? :P

Avatar28
2003-Dec-05, 07:38 PM
Can't they just put a parachute on it so it doesn't smack the ocean? :P

Well, there IS the problem of the heat of rentry burning it into a crispy critter too...

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Dec-09, 08:30 AM
Pfffffft.

Remote control descent stage, and send it to the moon to await the rest of the first lunar outpost.

The bottom half of an old Lunar Module ought to do quite nicely...

russ_watters
2003-Dec-09, 01:50 PM
Pfffffft.

Remote control descent stage, and send it to the moon to await the rest of the first lunar outpost.

The bottom half of an old Lunar Module ought to do quite nicely... Hubble is like the size of a small bus.