View Full Version : Astronauts release Hubble telescope back into space!

05-21-2009, 01:59 AM
* Hubble observatory released into space after repairs

* Revamped telescope's first image expected in September

* Shuttle Atlantis due to land in Florida on Friday

By Irene Klotz

HOUSTON, May 19 (Reuters) - Rejuvenated by hours of repairs in space, the Hubble Space Telescope floated out of shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay on Tuesday to reclaim its place as the world's flagship observatory for astronomical research.

Atlantis astronauts spent more than 36 hours over five marathon spacewalks to make upgrades and outfit Hubble with new instruments. These included a panchromatic wide-field camera that should be able to see objects formed just 500 million years after the universe's birth in the big bang explosion some 13.7 billion years ago.

Using the shuttle's robot arm, astronaut Megan McArthur gently lifted the 13-tonne observatory from a work platform in Atlantis' payload bay where it had been positioned since Wednesday.

Holding the telescope high overhead, she released Hubble at 8:57 a.m. EDT (1257 GMT) as the spacecraft soared 350 miles (560 km) over the planet.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN19451111

The hubble is done, a step closer to the age of space and starships! :D

05-21-2009, 07:05 AM


05-22-2009, 11:49 PM
Fictional spaceship, certainly loved Galactica! My fav character was Starbuck. :D

Aircraft, I loved "Stealth"

Constitutionally Speaking
05-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Astronauts release Hubble telescope back into space!

Sheese!!! And after all that effort to catch it!

05-24-2009, 01:24 AM
Sheese!!! And after all that effort to catch it!

Why, to bring the telescope back to earth is very costly, cs!

But I'm just glad that STS-125 is a success, because they said the mission replaced the telescope's gyroscopes, so it can work longer. It means taxes are at work! :)

NASA's original plan for safely de-orbiting Hubble was to retrieve it using a space shuttle. The Hubble telescope would then have most likely been displayed in the Smithsonian Institution. This is no longer considered practical because of the costs of a shuttle flight (US$500 million by some estimates), the mandate to retire the space shuttles by 2010, and the risk to a shuttle's crew. Instead NASA looked at adding an external propulsion module to allow controlled re-entry.The final decision was not to attach a de-orbit module on STS-125, but to add a grapple fixture so a robotic mission could more easily attach such a module later.There is also some discussion regarding a visit by the manned Orion spacecraft, for the purpose of attaching such a propulsion module.

HST's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will not be ready until well after the 2010 scheduled retirement of the space shuttle. While Hubble can image in the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths, JWST is limited to the infrared. The break in space-observing capabilities between the decommissioning of Hubble and the commissioning of a successor is of major concern to many astronomers, given the great scientific impact of HST taken as a whole.The consideration that the JWST will not be located in low Earth orbit, and therefore cannot be easily repaired in the event of an early failure, only makes these concerns more acute. Nor can JWST's instruments be easily upgraded. On the other hand, many astronomers felt strongly that the servicing of Hubble should not take place if the costs of the servicing come from the JWST budget.

05-24-2009, 01:29 AM
We will have some great wallpaper coming in the near future.
Previous Hubble wallpaper.


05-24-2009, 12:53 PM
The shuttle has just landed!