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Shuttle to Hubble Gets OK October 31, 2006

Posted by thebeam in The Byways.
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NASA announced today (10/31/06) that it will schedule a mission to give the Hubble Space Telescope a much needed overhaul.

From the NASA announcement (more…)

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A cosmic nearsightedness October 28, 2006

Posted by thebeam in The Byways.
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The Hubble Space Telescope is arguably the pinnacle of mankind’s achievements. It represents a nearly pure effort to understand the universe around us, without much of the normal rancor that more earthbound debates generate. Almost any child who has gazed in wonder at a clear night sky can understand the gift of vision that the photos we’ve received from Hubble have given us.

Unfortunately, the Hubble Space Telescope is in dire need of repairs and maintenance. The Space Shuttle project, beset by the aftermath of the Challenger and Columbia diseasters, is really the only platform that might be available for the missions needed to make the necessary repairs. Efforts are being made in Congress, and in the scientific community, but there are always competing budgetary issues. Many of them are devoted to developing more cost-efficient ways to kill our fellow man, not all that many are given to ways to save our fellow man. And precious few are devoted to just understanding the rules that govern our universe without little hope for immediate gain. (more…)