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Hubble telescope will get upgrade

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Hubble telescope will get upgrade

Nasa chief Mike Griffin says shuttle astronauts will be sent to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

The orbiting observatory has astounded astronomers and the public alike with its amazing pictures of the cosmos, but it will soon fail unless serviced.

Dr Griffin told Nasa employees that recent modifications to the shuttle launch system meant he felt it was now safe to send a crew to work on Hubble.

The mission, which will use the shuttle Discovery, should launch in 2008.

It's a great day for science, a great day for discovery, a great day for inspiration

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski

"We are going to add a shuttle servicing mission - to the Hubble space telescope - to the shuttle's manifest to be flown before [the orbiter] retires," Dr Griffin told an audience at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland where the Hubble programme is managed.

Without servicing, the observatory is not expected to last more than two or three years.

Its batteries and gyroscopes, which are used to point the telescope, are degrading and they will now be replaced.

The shuttle crew will also install two new instruments: the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The new instruments will improve significantly Hubble's ability to see distant, faint objects in the early Universe.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6102690.stm

Best News IMHO!

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To be honest I wish they would save the money and put it towards getting the replacement up and running as quickly as possible

Roll on privately owned space telescopes for hire!

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There was an enormous improvement when they last upgraded Hubble's camera :)

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This should see the HST into 2013 alright can't wait too see what they get out of the scope personally :)

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what a result , can't wait

the hubble is the best there is and they should keep it going and upgrade it forever .

upgrade upgrade upgrade upgrade

:) :) :) :) :) :)

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To be honest I wish they would save the money and put it towards getting the replacement up and running as quickly as possible

Roll on privately owned space telescopes for hire!

The Webb Space Telescope is currently under development and is designed as HST's replacement. It was to fly in 2011, last I checked, and HST's upgrade was built and paid for before the Columbia disaster. It was simply a matter of assuring the safety of future shuttle missions before HST's upgrade was authorized. The heads at NASA were political appointees before Mike Grifin took over and were not interested in science, but in politics. Griffin is a scientist and understands the significance of HST and its discoveries.

I hope this doesn't cross the politics line here, but all things are political to the current administration in the U.S., much to our detriment. It's really good to see a scientist finally running a scientific organization.

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It is accepted that the Hubble replacemant will deliver images with more scientific relevance but, it will not be able to produce the fantastic art-like images that Hubble does so is unlikely to be such a good 'populariser' of astronomy ... I am told.

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True the WST is not an optical 'scope but even so it will show us more than HST ever has. Although the popularity of HST is mainly due to it's pretty pictures!

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That's right, Gordon. Over 90% of the useful science done by HST is never seen by the public, but all anyone knows are the pretty pictures. JWST operates in (mostly) the infrared, and while it'll see more than Hubble, they can still "false color" the images to produce pretty pictures. I'm thinking, it may produce sufficient interest to be as well received as HST. Maybe even moreso, because of the higher resolution and nature of the subjects it'll be imaging. Imagine galaxies over 12 billion LY away on a regular basis, or high resolution images of stars orbiting the black hole at the core of the Milky Way. Should be exciting, regardless.

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True the WST is not an optical 'scope but even so it will show us more than HST ever has. Although the popularity of HST is mainly due to it's pretty pictures!

Chandra got quite a bit of press last year for false colour images of its X-ray pictures. I think WST could do the same.

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