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Put The Hubble On The ISS

Why keep calling AAA when you're parked across the dealership?
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While this may not be a realistic option for the current Hubble -- and I hope they take it down and put it in the Smithsonian -- but why wouldn't we put a space observatory on the space observatory?
theircompetitor, Mar 12 2004

Senators looking at alternatives http://apnews.excit...0311/D818B6CG0.html
The main stumbling block right now: "A trip to the Hubble, which is in a different orbit, would not afford this measure of safety." [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004]


       "Why keep ... " heh.
dpsyplc, Mar 12 2004

       From hubblesite.org FAQ:   

       Q. Can Hubble be moved to the International Space Station for servicing? Can it be attached to the station?   

       A. It would take a large amount of energy to change Hubble's orbit to match the orbit of the International Space Station. Not even the space shuttle would be able to perform this maneuver. In addition, there may be safety concerns about having Hubble and the ISS in the same orbit.   

       The ISS orbits at a lower altitude, where there's more atmosphere, than Hubble. Even if we could move Hubble permanently to the station's orbit, the friction of passing through the atmosphere would create a drag on the telescope that would make it difficult to point.
waugsqueke, Mar 12 2004

       Hubble has been an amazing piece of kit and It's going to be a shame when it goes out of service. Are there any plans to replace it with something or are we looking at another backwards step like Concord(e)
sufc, Mar 12 2004

       I've heard about the difficulty -- in fact, isn't one of the reasons they're reluctant to service it once again is that it's too difficult to get to the ISS orbit from there in case they choose to abort landing?   

       But I'm still not sure I understand we can't simply have telescopes on the ISS. Surely "more atmosphere" is not a lone reason. Otherwise, there's even less reason to have this space station then previously stated.   

       sufc -- I think a replacement is being built, that's part of the rationale for letting it go
theircompetitor, Mar 12 2004

       I too would love to see the HST placed in a place of honor on the Smithsonian, but it seems not to be in the stars. <link>
Klaatu, Mar 12 2004

       The burn that would place the Hubble in the same orbit as the ISS is indeed impossible for the Shuttle. Some people are proposing an alternative though; a robotic space tug using solar cells and an ion engine. It would slowly drift down to the appropriate orbit. NASA's kind of ignoring them though.   

       The James Webb Space Telescope will "replace" Hubble, but it's not designed to view the same things. It's infared, which is good if you want to look into nebulas, dust discs and the like. Hubble's visible light. They were supposed to complement each other.
Madcat, Mar 12 2004

       One possible solution to this problem is to get rid of Sean O'Keefe, but in order to do that, you'd have to get rid of Bush.
waugsqueke, Mar 13 2004

       The point of this post is to raise the general question as to why various space observatories are not put on the station itself. I guess the extra atmosphere is at least a partial answer.   

       One would then logically ask, why isn't it higher, and the answer of course -- we don't have good spacecraft to service it.   

       This has been a 20 year failure at NASA to get past the shuttle. Don't think it's fair to blame it on current administration. I think Congress and NASA itself bear the blame.
theircompetitor, Mar 13 2004

       It's perfectly fair to blame Sean O'Keefe for the Hubble's demise, since he's the one that ordained it. It's his decision that we're not going to the Hubble ever again. Let's be clear - he decided this. No one else.   

       He has said that any future shuttle missions must comply with the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. By eliminating any shuttle missions that cannot get to the ISS, he's doomed the Hubble. We would have only needed to go to Hubble one or two more times anyway, but he's said no to that. It's worth the loss of the single greatest piece of scientific exploration equipment we have ever created, in his mind.   

       I have great difficulty with that.
waugsqueke, Mar 13 2004

       Sorry -- didn't mean to give the impression I don't blame current Nasa leadership for the Hubble decision, I do -- though they are certainly in a difficult legislative climate.   

       I was just saying the problem of not having gotten past the shuttle goes way further back.
theircompetitor, Mar 13 2004

       That's okay, we can always build a moon base, for, something. I'm not entirely sure why, yet.
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2004

       The idea is to get good at setting up an extraterrestrial base while we're only 3 days away from home before we try it 7 months away. That bit makes sense, but using the moon as a launch base toward Mars makes no sense at all.   

       I think it's worth noting that, if the restrictions O'Keefe has placed on future shuttle missions had always been required, the early shuttle missions could never have flown. Even the missions that brought up the components of the ISS could not have flown.
waugsqueke, Mar 14 2004

       I know this is off topic, but since it got brought up: [waugsqueke], using the moon as a jump-off point to get to Mars is an excellent idea... if for no other reason that you need 1/6 the fuel to get out of the moon's gravity. That would be the point, as the vehicle would also need to carry with it enough fuel to launch off of Mars. Granted, you could just launch to Mars from orbit, but having a base on a solid surface involves fewer variables. [Madcat], ion engines are fine, but they produce such little thrust that it might be years or decades before the orbit would be adjusted. The only thing ion engines are good for are long term projects, because of the *speed* of the thrust (so-called 'nozzle velocity' or somthing... in this case a factor of 10 over conventional thrusters, if I recall correctly), which allows for a greater final speed of the vehicle. We don't need thrust speed in this case, just total thrust.   

       In general, most of all this cr@p with the shuttle is just that: cr@p. If the space program got shut down in the 60s every time something went wrong, we still wouldn't have made it to the moon. I'm not sure if it's the media's fault, or the public's fault, or for that matter, the government's fault, but space travel is not safe. It never will be safe: and astronauts know that. Everyone else needs to get over it and move on if we are to have any sort of progress.   

       Besides, we should have re-engineered the shuttle fleet a decade ago... the shuttle technology is nearly the same as it was TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO! Please, we should have come up with something better by now.
Agamemnon, Apr 04 2006


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