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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Mar 11, 2005 1:06:34 GMT -6
Senator Calls on NASA to Service Hubble
Senator Barbara Mikulski is my type of Senator.... ;D
WASHINGTON – In a sternly worded letter to acting NASA Administrator Frederick D. Gregory, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said she expects the U.S. space agency to heed the will of the Congress and keep preparations for a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission on track.
Congress, in passing an omnibus spending bill late last year, directed NASA to set aside $291 million of its 2005 budget to spend planning and preparing for a servicing mission to Hubble by 2008. When NASA informed Congress just weeks later that it intended to spend only $175 million of that amount on the Hubble repair effort, some saw the move as an indication that the agency was preparing to abandon plans to service Hubble robotically and rely instead on a space shuttle crew to fix the telescope.
Many Hubble backers, including Mikulski, were shocked and angered when NASA announced in early February that it would not make any effort to service the telescope beyond attaching a propulsion module that can be used to drop Hubble into the ocean once it goes dark.