Monday, May 11, 2009

Good News For The Hubble Space Telescope

I am listening live to the launch audio right now. I got to hear the engines light up, which was pretty cool.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis has launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. She is to be fitted with new batteries and a pair of new cameras. This is the first service the telescope has seen in 7 years.

NASA considers this mission dangerous enough that Endeavor is on a launch pad on standby, in case a rescue is called for.

For those who are not paying attention, the Hubble's future has been in doubt recently, and there was talk of decommissioning it. From this mission I gather that she is set for at least several more years of service. Good.

2 comments:

federalist said...

... except for the part about all this being funded by the federal government, right? (I can't find the part in the Constitution where it enumerates the federal government's power to conduct basic science research.)

Vote For David said...

Duh, you obviously missed the part about how looking at the sky is Interstate Commerce. How silly of you!

If we start a list of the things the feds are funding which would have the Founders spinning in their graves, it would turn into a thick book rather quickly. The de facto state of affairs is that they are paying for NASA as a purely civilian affair these days. In that context, I'm glad we are continuing to operate our aging equipment instead of building new stuff.

(Your point, however, is a good one.)