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Keeping Up With Hubble

May 18, 2009

At NPR, an interesting article and audio clip discussion about maintaining the Hubble Telescope, from NASA’s director of astrophysics. The Hubble, in orbit for over 30 years, has produced some of the most famous images yet taken of space. But this latest repair mission is going to be the last as NASA prepares a new generations of telescopes for launch and as the space shuttle program, necessary for the maintenance of the Hubble, winds down as well.

If all goes well, the upgrades and repairs should keep Hubble going until at least 2014. After that, if it breaks, there won’t be another repair mission, says Edward Weiler, associate administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate.

He says NASA is getting ready to retire the space shuttle program, so NASA will have no way of getting to Hubble. And the agency isn’t building any new spare parts.

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