Griffin Promises to repair Hubble... Jan 12, 2006 2:54:03 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 12, 2006 2:54:03 GMT -6
Griffin Vows To Send Shuttle Mission To Hubble
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 10, 2006
NASA administrator Michael Griffin repeated a pledge Tuesday he has made several times since taking over the space agency last April. Speaking to a packed house at the 207 th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Griffin said because of his deep appreciation of the scientific importance of the Hubble Space Telescope, "NASA will, if at all possible, use one of the remaining flights of the space shuttle for Hubble servicing."
The fate of the aging Hubble has remained in doubt since February 1, 2003, when the shuttle Columbia disintegrated in the skies above Texas during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members. After that tragedy, NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe said he would only consider a robotic spacecraft to repair the Hubble because he could not assure the safety of shuttle astronauts sent on such a mission.
Griffin, who told the audience he has pursued a career in space ever since he was a small boy in the 1950s, said NASA needs to conduct at least one more test flight of the shuttle to evaluate its safety. Even then, there may be no guarantees of a safe and completed mission, "but I am hopeful," he said.
"Within the timeframe available," Griffin said, "there is no robotic mission which is basically going to do anything other than a controlled de-orbit. If time and money were not an issue, I totally believe that the robotic repair could work. But time and money are issues, and in the context of the available money I judged it to be unfeasible. I am sorry to tell you it is either a shuttle mission to repair Hubble or it will not be repaired."
More here: www.spacedaily.com/news/Griffin_Vows_To_Send_Shuttle_Mission_To_Hubble.html
The next Shuttle or two has got to be a repair mission...just got to!...