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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Science and Technology
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Rev_DelFuego
The Hubble telescope has provided numerous photos of space and has been a one of the greatest successes of NASA since going to the moon. Do you think it is important enough to send a shuttle up to upgrade it? Link to story.
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Aquilla
You bet it is, Rev. Hubble is at the very least equal to the ISS in terms of it's scientific importance to the world community. It's actual more valuable in terms of pure science, but I don't want to get into a debate about that and derail this very important thread. NASA used to be an agency of dreams and aspirations, and most importantly, creativity and imagination. More and more it appears to be just another bureaucracy. I think we need to infuse some imagination back into our space program, the thirst for knowledge and exploration for knowledge sake alone. No dollar paybacks, projected benefits in terms of cash, but rather because the human species is a curious one. We seek knowledge simply so we can know more about ourselves and the place we call home.

:::sigh::: Even an old guy like me can have dreams........

Back to the real world. From your article......

QUOTE
The decision meant that Hubble, which has been sending home spectacular images of the universe for more than a decade and has virtually rewritten astronomy textbooks, will run out of juice by 2007 or 2008, several years earlier than planned. Once the telescope's batteries and gyroscopes wear out, NASA plans to send a robotic spacecraft to latch onto it and dump it in the ocean.



It seems to me that if it's possible to send a robotic spacecraft up to Hubble to latch onto it and destroy it, it should be possible to send a robotic rocket to Hubble that will move it to a safe orbit and stabilize it there until NASA gets their act together and can fix the darn thing. What's so hard about that? Am I missing something here? I betcha I could figure out the parameters on how to do it, I used to be a rocket scientist ya know.... Matter of fact I had a similar idea for saving SkyLab and darn near got fired for sending it to the President of the company. huh.gif

I've since grown much older, maybe not much wiser, but I still have my dreams. smile.gif
GoAmerica
QUOTE(Rev_DelFuego @ Feb 10 2004, 01:53 PM)
The Hubble telescope has provided numerous photos of space and has been a one of the greatest successes of NASA since going to the moon. Do you think it is important enough to send a shuttle up to upgrade it? Link to story.

I think Hubble should continue to be upgraded because it has shown us awesome pictures of our galaxy that would have scientists and astronomers busy and it also helps anaylze how solar systems are formed and could invite incite into how ours was created
rebelkate
I read a recent artlcle in Time I think, that was mostly about Mars, etc, but had a brief blurb about the Hubble - and it had a few quotes from some NASA folks that mentioned they were working on details for robotic missions to the Hubble for upgrades, battery replacements, gyro replacements, etc. I wish I could remember where the article was, but the guy they interviewed pretty much said the thought of losing Hubble got a lot of folks working overtime figure out how to make it conserve energy and fix it with robots - at least until the next big telescope is launched (which I think is scheduled for sometime in 2011).

In all honesty, I can see the serious concerns with human exploration, and the doubts people may have over the cost efficiency of continuing the ISS program (though I do support finishing the ISS) and I also see the very serious doubts about the worth of say, trying to send man to Mars or even back to the Moon (once again, I do support these ideas in general, but only within in certain parameters). But, it seems completely idiotic to stop supporting the one program which has had such major returns for a relatively small investment. Hubble has done a lot of work and if there is any reason to continue to use the shuttles I would say servicing Hubble would be the main reason. The ISS can be assembled sending up pieces on the Russian proton rockets (in fact the proton rockets can carry much heavier loads) and astronauts can reach the ISS using the salyut - so why the shuttle would be needed for these missions is not really clear. The shuttle was never the best possible technology (solid rocket fuel was a pretty stupid idea on the whole for manned travel) and it ended up like it is mostly due to beauracracy... and it was supposed to be replaced in the late 90s anyway - so I can understand scrapping the shuttle until a better vehicle is finished... however, as long as we plan to continue to use it, why not use it to service the Hubble and leave the other ISS missions to the Russian rockets.
Talyn
QUOTE(Aquilla @ Feb 11 2004, 12:35 AM)
You bet it is, Rev.  Hubble is at the very least equal to the ISS in terms of it's scientific importance to the world community.  It's actual more valuable in terms of pure science, but I don't want to get into a debate about that and derail this very important thread.  NASA used to be an agency of dreams and aspirations, and most importantly, creativity and imagination.  More and more it appears to be just another bureaucracy.  I think we need to infuse some imagination back into our space program, the thirst for knowledge and exploration for knowledge sake alone.  No dollar paybacks, projected benefits in terms of cash, but rather because the human species is a curious one.  We seek knowledge simply so we can know more about ourselves and the place we call home. 

:::sigh:::  Even an old guy like me can have dreams........

Back to the real world.  From your article......

QUOTE
The decision meant that Hubble, which has been sending home spectacular images of the universe for more than a decade and has virtually rewritten astronomy textbooks, will run out of juice by 2007 or 2008, several years earlier than planned. Once the telescope's batteries and gyroscopes wear out, NASA plans to send a robotic spacecraft to latch onto it and dump it in the ocean.



It seems to me that if it's possible to send a robotic spacecraft up to Hubble to latch onto it and destroy it, it should be possible to send a robotic rocket to Hubble that will move it to a safe orbit and stabilize it there until NASA gets their act together and can fix the darn thing. What's so hard about that? Am I missing something here? I betcha I could figure out the parameters on how to do it, I used to be a rocket scientist ya know.... Matter of fact I had a similar idea for saving SkyLab and darn near got fired for sending it to the President of the company. huh.gif

I've since grown much older, maybe not much wiser, but I still have my dreams. smile.gif

I believe that NASA has only been changing for the better. The MER program is an example of this achievement. Also, in my opinion, Hubble is probably one the most important scientific tools we have today. It has been our looking glass into the galaxy. Most of the evidence we have that other planets exsist outside of our solar system is because of data gathered from the HST. Of all the things I believe that Hubble should be placed in front along side with the exploration and terraforming of Mars.
Rev_DelFuego
If anything I think it should at the very least be brought down safely and put on display at the JSC. Like a look though the eyes that have viewed the universe exhibit. Who knows it might be put into service again.
rebelkate
QUOTE
If anything I think it should at the very least be brought down safely and put on display at the JSC. Like a look though the eyes that have viewed the universe exhibit. Who knows it might be put into service again.


Too bad to bring it down for display (at least to display something better than a burned out husk like Skylab) we would have to send a shuttle to put it in its payload bay to bring down through the atmosphere safely... but then, if we're sending a shuttle, why not just service it and keep it working smile.gif

There is another telescope in the works that is bigger, better and much more powerful - but it won't be ready until sometime around 2010... which seems to correspond with the proposed timeline for retiring the shuttle - so I think we should keep servicing the Hubble until the next gen space telescope is ready - b/c its frankly crazy to get rid of the one program that no one really seems to want to get rid of (due to its cost-effective high-yield discoveries) wacko.gif hmmm.gif huh.gif
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