It looks as if the Hubble space telescope is going to get that overhaul afterall.
The NASA press release said the ceremony includes a "news conference with the astronauts who would carry out the mission" — if the agency decides to go ahead with a shuttle flight to rehab the telescope.Say what you will about spacial priorities*, but I think the most important facets of our space program right now are
And Griffin has previously said, "If we can do it safely, we want to do it."
Griffin worked on Hubble earlier in his career and recently described it as "one of the great scientific instruments of all time."
Another good sign for fans of the space telescope is that U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (news, bio, voting record), D-Md., one of Capitol Hill's most prominent supporters of saving it, will join Griffin at Goddard, her office said.
"I think they've decided yes, but they haven't done it officially," said University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomer Jay Gallagher, who is a member of a science team responsible for one of Hubble's cameras. "Everything we've been hearing in our community is yes, so I'm hopeful that this is going to happen."
- cosmological data collection
- practice, practice, practice of orbital maintenance techniques and
- completion of the International Space Station so we can get ever closer to the longer range goal of moving our species' industrial activities off-planet, thus preserving our on-planet atmospheric health whilst still expanding our potential for technological and practical creativity
That Pale Blue Dot is Home folks. 'Tis the only one we currently have. Despite Kyoto and the Governator's environmentalism, the intrinsic and inevitable advancement of human techological evolution cannot be maintained at the pace of the last 150 years without clogging or perhaps disastrously disrupting our planet's circulatory system. If we don't make a herculean effort to export some largish portion of our industrial manufacturing capacity outside of our living space, we quite simply won't be able to survive our creations.
Just as smoking in the upstairs with the window open doesn't keep the baby's bedroom unaffected and carcinogenically pristine - no matter how cheap and easy an alternative to quitting or going outside it is - exporting our industrial facilities to developing countries doesn't prevent their environmental effects from affecting everyone under teh coriolis.
While our industrial advancement into space will also have (in many analyses of the endeavour) the effect of moving manufacturing back to the sphere of the more developed countries, I think the environmental opportunities created for the developing nations - and those which have been particularly slow or reticent or stymied from joining in that crowd - will merely continue as they have to date. Taking polluting projects off-planet won't to be helping solve or resolve our species' social (moral) dillemnas. It will merely, and quite simply, allow us more breathing room in which to work 'em out: with clearer skies above us and sweeter waters all around.
No matter what Homo does, it is always Homo doing it. That, at the very least, is as simple as it gets.
Hubble Ho! ! !
* The debate itself is lots of fun and worth a helluvalot more consideration than any sporting or entertainment endeavours.
And Godz (or not!) have little to no say in the matter. :-p Whatever our reasons or excuses, humanity be the defacto Decider!