Hubble: July 2005 Archives

Editor's note:In the 18 July edition of Space News, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director (and former Associate Administrator for Space Science) Ed Weiler says that he did not agree with the way that former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe handled the Hubble Space Telescope issue.

Curiously, Weiler took a totally different stance in late 2003 as O'Keefe was preparing to make his decision about not sending the SM-4 Shuttle Servicing mission to repair and reboost Hubble. Indeed, Weiler was outright supportive of what O'Keefe was thinking of announcing a few months hence - and he put it in writing.

Editor's note: There will be a Hubble Space Telescope meeting at NASA HQ next week. Among the items to be discussed is a new solar activity model which some people at NASA think will allow the Hubble to remain safely aloft for quite some time after a reboost from the visiting shuttle.

This way, so the thinking goes, the hope is that a deorbit module i.e. the PDM (Propulsion Deorbit Module) will not need to be included on the SM-4 mission. Apparently, a few weeks ago, when Mike Griffin was briefed on Hubble, an estimated deorbit some time in 2030 was mentioned. According to a participant Griffin said something to the effect of "why are we worrying about it then?".

Deleting the PDM solve some vexing upmass issues. It would also save NASA a large amount of money. Not only would the PDM not need to be developed, but money would not be needed to modify the FSS (the payload carrier that holds Hubble in Shuttle's cargo bay) to accomodate the PDM.

Of course, the issue of bringing Hubble back will have to be addressed someday - but at least it won't have to be dealt with during Mike Griffin's time as Administrator.



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Hubble category from July 2005.

Hubble: April 2005 is the previous archive.

Hubble: January 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.