On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006, NASA chief Michael Griffin will announce the fate of the Hubble Space Telescope.

HST has received tremendous popular support since it’s launch in 1990 (actually, since the 1st repair mission compensated for the mirror design flaw that initially crippled several science instruments). I suspect that if Griffin decides that NASA should abandon HST now, without directing funding for a last repair mission, there will be some outrage noted in the press.

But what I want to know, and what I’m not seeing in the MSM, is what the effect of keeping HST aloft does to the James Webb Space Telescope (formerly the Next Generation Space Telescope), currently scheduled for launch in 2013. Will it be delayed further? Or will the JWST mission be further reduced in scope?

From Space.com:

The observatory’s sendoff into space is now slated for June 2010 – an 18 month slip from an earlier timetable. Lightweight mirror technology also proved to be no lightweight of a problem. NGST was at first to utilize a primary mirror 26-feet (8 meters) in diameter, since shrunk down to some 20 feet (6 meters) in diameter across.

and the 2008 date referred to indirectly was already a slip from the 2007 date that nobody believed.

Explore posts in the same categories: Astronomy, Space

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