Feeds

NASA green lights robotic Hubble fix

$1bn rescue mission in three years

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

NASA's top boss has given engineers the go ahead to start planning a robotic fix for Hubble. The mission will repair the telescope's broken imaging equipment as well as carrying out general maintenance and repairs.

Chief administrator Sean O'Keefe pulled the plug on all Hubble missions after the Columbia Shuttle disaster. Since then, the search has been on for an alternative way to keep the telescope functioning, drawing support from the National Research Council, and even from representatives of the Senate.

Last week, one of the space telescope's four science instruments stopped working, yet again focussing attention on the cancelled servicing mission.

At a meeting at the Goddard Space Centre this week, O'Keefe acknowledged that public opinion is firmly behind finding a fix for the space telescope.

According to Discovery News he said: "Everybody says, 'We want to save the Hubble' - well, let's go save the Hubble. Rather than just sitting there and talking about how we think we're going to do it, we've got an option we're ready to go with."

The mission is no small undertaking: it will take nine months of planning, will cost between $1bn and $1.6bn, and won't get off the ground for around three years.

That should be just in time to save Hubble. The telescope's systems have enough power to keep going until 2008. If it is not fixed by then its gyroscopes will fail, and with a nudge from NASA, it will crash into the sea. ®

Related stories

Hubble loses an eye
NRC pleads case for Hubble mercy mission
Astronomers weigh ultra-cool brown dwarf
NASA seeks Hubble robot rescue input

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.