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Eyeing a post-Hubble Universe


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#1    Starlyte

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:21 PM

"Not since Galileo turned his telescope towards the heavens in 1610 has any event so changed our understanding of the Universe as the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope."

So says Nasa's official introduction to the Hubble, but officials at the US space agency are now planning its demise and that is upsetting many scientists.

The facts are straightforward. Launched in 1990, the telescope was always destined to have a limited life. Planning is well under way for a new space telescope - the James Webb - to launch in 2011 and the Hubble mission is slated to end by 2010.

But it need not be that way, argue Hubble's supporters. Such are the passions surrounding the subject that Nasa has chartered a panel of experts to determine the best way to manage the transition.

The panel has already received hundreds of e-mails offering suggestions and raising concerns about the changes.

Edward Cheng, who worked as a development scientist on the Hubble programme, told BBC News Online that there were simple reasons why many astronomers felt so strongly.

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#2    Bizarro

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:00 PM

well obviously they shouldn't send it crashing back to Earth if it is still useful.  sometimes i think these people let budget interests get in the way of common sense.  you know that the only reason they want to destroy Hubble is so they can get that fat government contract to build a new one.  its all about money.  

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#3    PurpleStuart

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 07:48 PM

When it was launched that they said it had a 10yr life span and i remember thinking that it was a waste for it to be up there for such a short space of time  

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#4    connecian

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 05:36 AM

Starlyte.. I loke this article.. supporting the Hubble
I have to agree that it does seem a waste to end the Hubble, when they can do so much more to improve on it. Also the Hubble , unlike the JWST has the capability of being worked on and repaired in case of damage.  The JWST has a shorter life span and will be out of the orbit where explorers can not upgrade or make repairs. That seems like such waste of equipment.
I thing it would be much greater if NASA takes the time to make the upgrades to the Hubble to include the larger mirrors that they are wanting to put on the JWST. If they were to add a larger mirrors,and other modifications,  then to me at least, they would be able to see the formation of the stars and galaxies which seems to be the main reason for this new space station. Also, the JWST will not have some of the capabilities that the Hubble had from what I have read and understood.
Also it seems that NASA is saying how much less expensive the JWST is compared to the Hubble. Yet it will need to be replaced sooner than the Hubble , therfore would not seem to me more cost efficient since it will take at least two or three space telescopes to be built and sent up  to cover the same amount of years that the Hubble has been  in space, therefore , in the long run, not cost effective at all.


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#5    Homer

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:32 PM

I agree with connecian. The Hubble Space Telescope should be modified by sending up new tools to enhance it, instead of replacing it.
QUOTE
The observatory now in orbit(Hubble) uses cutting-edge technology, not merely equipment developed when the telescope was being built on Earth during the 1980s.


QUOTE
Dr Cheng says he believes Hubble could continue to be a useful tool until 2020 when irreplaceable parts such as the mirrors could be expected to degrade.

The time table for replacing the Hubble should coincide with the time frame when irreplaceable parts start to degrade, in my humble opinion


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