Should we continue Hubble?

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alokmohan

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The Big Question: Has the Hubble space telescope project been worthwhile? <br />By Michael Savage <br />Published: 05 December 2007 <br />Why are we asking this now?<br /><br />Because four years after Nasa had decided to abandon it in space, a new mission has been approved that will see the Hubble Space Telescope given one final upgrade that should prolong its life by five years.<br /><br />The iconic telescope has had its ups and downs since its launch in 1990, but when the extensive surgery is completed next August during Nasa's fifth Hubble visit, it will be more powerful than at any point in its lifetime. During a five-day spacewalk 350 miles above the Earth, a group of astronaut-mechanics will not only carry out running repairs to broken equipment, but they will also be installing two brand new instruments.<br /><br />Will this really be the last trip to Hubble?<br /><br />Yes. With the space shuttles coming out of commission at the end of the decade, there will be no means of carrying out the maintenance that Hubble needs to keep on going. Even if no mechanical faults occur, its power supply will probably die within five years, along with the telescope's gyroscopes, which keep it travelling along the right orbit around the Earth.<br /><br />What work is being done to Hubble?<br /><br />By the time Nasa's mechanics finish kitting out Hubble with its new gadgets, it will almost be a new telescope in all but name. The new WideField Camera 3 will allow Hubble to peer deeper into the recesses of space, hunting out new galaxies and helping scientists to build a clearer picture of what the universe was like shortly after its birth. The removal of the old camera will be one of the trickiest operations of the mission.<br /><br />The other new device to be fitted will be a state-of-the-art spectrograph, which will be able to examine atoms drifting through intergalactic space. These atoms make up most of the material of the universe.<br /><br />Repairs will also be carried out to the Adva
 
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MeteorWayne

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Looks like an even more ambitious mission than first planned. They are going to be really busy up there!! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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James Webb you mean?What is the latest in that case?
 
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Testing

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WFC-3 will be an order of magnitude better than WFC-2.<br />Parts of -3 were re-furbed from -1 for re-launch. Very few components come back for evaluation of condition, dis-assembly and re-use from orbit. Optics and coatings have evolved a bit in the last 15 years. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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docm

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<font color="yellow">James Webb you mean?What is the latest in that case?</font><br /><br />JWST is scheduled to go up on an Ariane 5 no sooner than mid 2013. <br /><br />The telescope element just passed a design review on Monday;<br /><br />http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/jwst_optical.html<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>James Webb Space Telescope Marks Successful Completion of Optical Telescope Element Design Review</b><br /><br />12.03.07<br /><br />Rob Gutro<br />Goddard Space Flight Center<br />301-286-4044<br /><br />Richard Bent<br />Northrop Grumman Corp., Redondo Beach, Calif.<br />310-812-4215<br /><br />Richard Bent<br />Northrop Grumman Corp., Redondo Beach, Calif.<br />310-812-4215<br /><br />Release No. 07-74<br /><br />GREENBELT, Md. - A preliminary design review has concluded and verified the integrated performance of all subsystems in the Optical Telescope Element on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.<br /><br />The Optical Telescope Element or OTE is the "eye" of the Webb Observatory. The telescope consists of a 6.5-meter (21.3 foot) primary mirror; secondary, tertiary and fine steering mirrors; and supporting structures, deployable tower and control electronics.<br /><br />"The successful completion of the Optical Telescope Element Preliminary Design Review is a significant milestone in the telescope development which demonstrates it's full feasibility and which allows the team to move on to final, detailed designs," said Lee Feinberg, James Webb Space Telescope Optical Telescope Element Manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.<br /><br />"Meeting rigorous technology development requirements and successfully completing component design reviews earlier this year have given us confidence that the telescope will perform its mission within our cost and schedule commitments," said Martin</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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No, I mean the Hubble repair mission. AFAIK, new tasks have been added making it much busier. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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I will try to answer this as best as I can per the article:<br /><br />Article:<br />The Big Question: Has the Hubble space telescope project been worthwhile?<br /><br />Me:<br />Lets see, Hubble revolutionizes astronomy and...who else is asking this question besides Michael Savage or people who would normally be seen as totally anti space?<br /><br />Article:<br />The iconic telescope has had its ups and downs since its launch in 1990,<br /><br />Me:<br />I'd say mostly ups...did I mention Hubble revolutionized astronomy?<br /><br />Article:<br />but when the extensive surgery is completed next August during Nasa's fifth Hubble visit, it will be more powerful than at any point in its lifetime.<br /><br />Me:<br />Now hes starting to make sense but it should be noted, Hubble was pretty powerful after the first repair mission. Oh, did I mention Hubble revolutionized astronomy?<br /><br />Article:<br />Will this really be the last trip to Hubble?<br /><br />Me:<br />Maybe, maybe not. So what...uh, did I mention Hubble revolutionized astronomy?<br /><br />Now, after that last article passage, the article shifts to one about the repairs themselves and never gets to the question that started the article. I didn't get to read the entire article because the link did not work. The link has a .ece at the end which may be the reason it does not work.<br /><br />Assuming the question was never answered, I guess I was expecting to see something like "The money spent on Hubble or Hubble repair missions could be better spent on feeding hungry kids".<br /><br />I guess to sum it up, I recall an Astronomy Magazine add showing the Hubble with a caption beneath it saying "If you have this" Then the lower pic showing some high end name brand amateur telescope with the caption saying "You don't need this" which I think says it all where Hubble is concerned. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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Perhaps it boils down to one question. Namely: Are there things that Hubble can do that the James Webb Space Telescope can't do? I am not including the obvious like serviceability. Rather I am talking about science missions. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Yes it can. Hubble's range extends through the visible, and IIRC, into the low unltraviolet.<br /><br />The JWST samples a longer wavelength, well into the infrared, at the expense of part of the visible and all of the UV wavelengths.<br /><br />The focus of the telescope at these different wavelengths is different enough to prevent having sharp focus for both. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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erioladastra

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"Yes it can. Hubble's range extends through the visible, and IIRC, into the low unltraviolet. "<br /><br />Actually, even into the soft X-ray!
 
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MeteorWayne

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I didn't know it went that far. Thanx. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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IMO, the intended repairs and upgrades to Hubble fill a cost-effective void between now and JWST.<br /><br />If the only thing that a Hubble "rescue mission" did was to give us more cool pictures of the Universe, I might be against it in opposition to an accelerated JWST time table.<br /><br />However, that doesn't appear to be the case. I was previously in favor of just de-orbiting Hubble and moving on to the next best thing.<br /><br />But after reading about the upgrades being done, and the obvious and clearly defined time gap between Hubble and JWST, it makes sense to me to use an STS mission to refurb Hubble.<br /><br />In fact, mostly because I'm no fan of the ISS, the Hubble mission may well be the defining swan song of the STS program.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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Lets give James Webb a chance,we should not be sentimental.
 
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adrenalynn

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Nothing but NOTHING in Dragon's post puts down or suggests JWST not "be given a chance".<br /><br />In fact, his post is fully in support of JWST, suggesting we patch-up Hubble until the JWST can be flown and brought online. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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2844az

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I can think of 2 billion reasons, actually its about 7 billion reasons now, to keep the Hubble and more. That is what it cost to design it and put it up there and to make repairs on it. It seems to me Hubble is like an old car, you can restore it cheaper than buying a new one. It may be old, but I think it is still better than anything we have on earth. Perhaps if it is ever decommissioned, some wealthy individual will purchase it and restore it. And they could charge a reasonable fee for amateur astronomers to uplink to it or to it’s ground station where its data has been deciphered. Yea! I know I am dreaming, but I would like that. Gary
 
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adrenalynn

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Just one thought/minor correction - <br /><br />In good weather, Palomar w/ Luckycam are exceeding the depth of the Hubble substantially, right here on earth. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Hubble has revolutionized astronomy and until ground based telescopes catch up to Hubble in resolution, Hubble is still quite viable. And yes, worth every penny. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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symbolite

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After the next mission to hubble to upgrade it won't it be again better than the best on the ground telescopes? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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I wouldn't know for sure without looking at the specifics of the ground based scopes that are now currently in development and when those telescopes might see first light. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope<br /><br />Looks like no earlier than June 2013 if I read it correctly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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I'll probably be dead by then. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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erioladastra

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"In good weather, Palomar w/ Luckycam are exceeding the depth of the Hubble substantially, right here on earth. "<br /><br />There are many scopes ont eh ground that can do some things better than HST. However, there are a number of things HST can do that ground based just cannot - for example, there are a wide number of targets HST can observe CONTINUOSLY. Even when you can't do it continuosly, being able to reliable observe day after day is very critical. In addition, as noted here, there are wavelengths that ground based just can't do.
 
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