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ToSeek
2003-Aug-20, 04:09 PM
Can a Soyuz Service Hubble and Save a Bundle? (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/hubble-03a.html)

Supposedly, a replacement Hubble could be built for less than the cost of two servicing missions.

Jigsaw
2003-Aug-20, 09:34 PM
"Hubble Workbench." I love it.

Would that be manned by Tim Allen, Norm Abrams, or that PBS "Woodwright's Shop" guy?

BigJim
2003-Aug-20, 10:43 PM
Then, years later (somewhere around 2010), when the Hubble has finally suffered enough new malfunctions to make it unusable for science, the Shuttle would have made one last flight to it and loaded it into its cargo bay to return it to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, since Hubble is big enough that the uncontrolled reentry it would make a few years later would have a small but definite chance of raining dangerously large debris (especially its mirror) down onto Earthlings.

That was never a definite. That would be a waste of the $600 million needed to launch a Shuttle.


It's a vicious twist of fate that Columbia suffered its accident on one of the very few remaining Shuttle missions not scheduled to visit the Station -- had the fatal wing damage happened on such a flight, it would almost certainly have been discovered after the Shuttle docked with the Station (or even earlier, using the Shuttle's camera-equipped arm),

I disagree with the "almost certainly." It may have only been a few tiles. Not necessarily visible.


As many impartial observers have pointed out, NASA's entire argument that the Shuttle is necessary and worthwhile to repair Hubble has actually been (like so many of its other arguments for the Shuttle and the Station) a flat-out shill from the start, a deliberate and dishonest attempt to further trick Congress into providing the massive funds needed to develop the Shuttle.

I wouldn't call it dishonest. Perhaps a little optimistic, but they weren't deliberately trying to mislead Congress.


The Shuttle is so expensive to fly -- each of its Hubble servicing missions costs between $700 million and $1 billion -- that, for the cost of only two such missions (and perhaps less), a complete new duplicate Hubble could be constructed comparatively cheaply from the blueprints for the original (with whatever improved equipment and new experiments seemed appropriate) and launched on a Titan booster without any need to risk human lives.



We can't eliminate all risk from spaceflight. That extra $1 billion used to construct a spacecraft we already have could be taken from anywhere, including Mars missions or budgets to make the Shuttle safer. It sounds like this guy's afraid of using the STS.