Hubble Servicing

Just announced today, the Hubble servicing mission is back on. This isn't a huge surprise, since there's been huge political pressure on the new administrator to "save Hubble," but it is very good news for everyone involved. Bad Astronomy has more.

Depending on ISS assembly flights keeping to schedule, the servicing mission would happen sometime in 2008. The other big variable here is whether Hubble's gyros keep working that long. At present four of the original six are working. It used to be believed that HST would become uncontrollable with less than three operational gyroscopes, which meant that if one more failed NASA would have to start planning to deorbit it immediately, rather than risk a fourth failure that would greatly complicate a controlled reentry. However, NASA engineers last year demonstrated software modifications that allow Hubble to operate on only two gyros, forstalling this scenario. Even so, it's by no means guaranteed that Hubble can make it through 2008 with even two gyros still working.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on October 31, 2006 12:29 PM.

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