Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have outlined what they see as a possible unmanned mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA already has received 26 proposals for the mission.
NASA said yesterday that the National Academy of Sciences would review its decision about whether a shuttle mission should be flown to service the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA chief Sean O'Keefe said he also wanted the Academy to study ways in which Hubble could be used more efficiently over its useful life, even without a service mission.
New images from the Hubble Space Telescope gave astronomers a look at the most distant galaxies ever viewed, including pictures of galaxies that may have come into being only 700 million years after the Big Bang. Scientists are working frantically to record as much as possible from Hubble since its working life may be shortened if NASA holds to its decision not to send a manned servicing mission to the telescope.
Although NASA said it would not send another shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope because it is too risky, a report supposedly authored by a NASA engineer disputes that assessment. The report continues to fuel the debate among scientists and lawmakers about the fate of the telescope.
NASA yesterday reiterated it will not send a shuttle mission to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope. However, the agency said it would not object to others saving the telescope, providing they paid the cost and took responsibility of mission safety.