Friday, November 03, 2006
NASA has approved a Shuttle mission to extend the life of the Hubble telescope. The action was widely applauded in the space science community, which has not had much to cheer about from NASA lately. The mission would launch in 2008 to allow astronauts to add seven years of life to Hubble by upgrading guidance and control components. They would also attempt to repair one instrument and replace two others, greatly improving the telescope's capabilities. However, NASA, having directed all possible funding into the Shuttle missions supporting the International Space Station, the planned retirement of the Shuttle in 2010, and the demands of the new Vision for Space Exploration, does not know where the estimated $900M budget for the mission will come from.