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Hubble Stops Sending Data, Mission On Hold 141

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the try-to-do-as-little-dying-as-possible dept.
mknewman writes to tell us that NASA is no longer receiving data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which could possibly delay the shuttle launch planned just two weeks from now. There is a backup system installed which may be used instead of training the astronauts on the installation of the new component, but that would itself leave no fallback option. "NASA is reviewing whether the mission should be delayed a couple of months so that plans can be made to send up a replacement part for the failed component, said NASA spokesman Michael Curie. It would take time to test and qualify the old replacement part and train the astronauts to install it in the telescope, Curie said. NASA also would have to work out new mission details for the astronauts who have trained for two years to carry out five Hubble repair spacewalks."
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Hubble Stops Sending Data, Mission On Hold

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  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:17PM (#25196721)
    Ah, just give it good ol' emergency repair plan "A." If that doesn't work, send up Richard Dean Andersen with some duct tape.
    • by Lectoid (891115) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:22PM (#25196755)
      Comon, we all know you have to send Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones. Space Cowboys was a documentary, right?
      • by eln (21727)

        They only know how to fix old Russian satellites, so they would have to be completely re-trained to handle the Hubble. Besides, we'd have to send a rocket all the way to the moon to retrieve Tommy Lee Jones after he rode the other satellite there.

        Of course, he's probably been captured by the moon men and made to toil in their underground mines by now, so trying to get him may end up being more trouble than its worth.

    • Re:Thwack it... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:23PM (#25196765) Homepage Journal

      I'm sure they did the equivalent of "thwacking it". But the "thwack" repair method seldom lasts long.

      "Thwack it" is for things like the martian hoopties Spirit and Opportunity ("Hoopties" because they're WAY out of warrantee) that you can't send a mechanic to fix.

      Or us rednecks with broken cars and even broker wallets; I fixed a heater hose with duct tape on a '74 LeMans, and it still held leak-free when I sold the old junker three years later. You don't fix Rolls Royces or Hubble Telescopes with duct tape!

      • by Chyeld (713439)

        I'm sure they did the equivalent of "thwacking it". But the "thwack" repair method seldom lasts long.

        "Thwack it" is for things like the martian hoopties Spirit and Opportunity ("Hoopties" because they're WAY out of warrantee) that you can't send a mechanic to fix.

        Or us rednecks with broken cars and even broker wallets; I fixed a heater hose with duct tape on a '74 LeMans, and it still held leak-free when I sold the old junker three years later. You don't fix Rolls Royces or Hubble Telescopes with duct tape!

        • by KGIII (973947) *

          Disclosure: Non-active United States Marine.

          I was actually thinking 100 MPH Tape [imsplus.com] myself. I still have dozens of rolls that somehow ended up falling off a truck at Quantico (I was motorpool) and ended up in my apartment. At one time I had hundreds of rolls. I'm not sure if that's the same stuff there (I suspect that it isn't at that price) but you *can* tape ANYTHING. Not really anything but it is amazing at how strong that stuff is.

          A buddy of mine taped his skateboard with it after it had broken in half. It

          • Re:Thwack it... (Score:4, Informative)

            by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 29, 2008 @06:30PM (#25198929)

            Duct tape [wikipedia.org] by any other name [military.com], is still so very sweet. As long as you aren't using it on ducts. Which ironicly, it's completely inappropriate for.

            • Re:Thwack it... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by KGIII (973947) * on Monday September 29, 2008 @07:14PM (#25199403) Journal

              I actually used duct tape on duct, once. I was venting the propane gas drier outside for a buddy of mine and had none of the 100 MPH tape. The 100 MPH tape is essentially duct tape on steroids. I could be biased but I have used both commercial and military and, well, I have to say that the difference is obvious to me at least. It is VERY sticky and VERY strong compared to the stuff you get at your local hardware store. Again, that could be observational bias, it's not like I've stress tested the two under various conditions to see the result and measure the result or anything...

              Oddity note: Once I was out of boot I would leave a small piece of this tape on the stock of my rifle. It allowed me to put my face to it and feel where it was and get into a firing position more quickly and accurately. The subtle feel was enough, my rifle was sighted in at 500 yds and, it is hard to explain, to feel where you *should* be without needing to sight in (like you'll have time for THAT in combat) to adjust for a shorter or longer range is... Hmm... Almost like magic except nothing like it.

              Err... I drove maggots around and brought the maggots supplies while they were shitbags in OCS. (Later they'd be my leaders.) It was a near constant that I had to be able to hump 20 miles, show them how to get unstuck without a tow vehicle, bivie with them for a few days, and constantly have to prove how a "Real Marine" was prepared and could fire his rifle better than the maggots and shitbags. (Maggots earned their way in. Shitbags earned their way in but came via nepotism. "You are not your daddy's sperm shitbag! Did you fuck your daddy to make you? Did you fuck your mother? No shitbag? Well the whole platoon is going to fuck her tonight shitbag. While you watch. I'm going first, let's see if you can build some muscles up shitbag. Drop and give me fifty." OCS in the Marines is probably not what people expect.)

              Sorry - I came back before hitting submit in an attempt to see if I should censor the text above. I opt not to. As tempting as it is to not offend I am more willing to ensure that the historical value (if any) remains true.

              We put splints in place with this tape. We held things meant to make loud booms together with it. We taped maggots to hot steam pipes when it was suggested we do so with it. (You can tape a maggot - you can not tape a shitbag. Yes, this is hazing, yes this is the Marines. Yes, I think that this was required. Don't like it, don't serve. 'Snot PC or anything but we need tough people making tough choices at a time when failure is not an option.) There are stories of patched airplanes and there was a story floating around about a patched chopper rotor but, frankly, I don't believe that one.

              Anyhow, I have rambled on long enough but want to continue for a moment. I apologize, ahead of time, for having taken up your time with the post but it seemed as good a place as any to ramble about it. I have some strange (by many opinions) views of how things should be. When we picked up new medals, awards, ranks if you will we had a ritual. The blouse was worn as all Marines wear it but the people getting their medals (think the pins that have backs on them) would stand there. First the issuing officer would give you the backs to the medals. He'd then take the medal and *press* it into you. He was gentle. You would remain at attention for this. The remainder of the squad would then come along and PUNCH that medal into you. Yes, meaning you pried it out of either bone or tissue when they were done. And you did so with pride. And you did so while remaining at attention. You look beyond the people, you look beyond the pain.

              To most who haven't served that would seem barbaric. Indeed it is. Having "punched chests" and had my chest punched enough I can assure you that I never harbored any ill will towards those doing so and, in fact, I believe I am stronger for it. If one can't handle that then it is my belief that they don't belong in the Marines who's job consists of killing, dying, living through pain, and being first and foremost a rifleman.

              This is now way off topic but I figured I'd better explain the latter so that the entirety made sense.

              • /raises glass, to the defenders of Freedom.
                • by KGIII (973947) *

                  It's a little early in the morning but I'll drink to that.

              • If that's what American soldiers do to each other, I'm amazed that anyone was surprised at all about what they do to their prisoners.
                • by KGIII (973947) *

                  As a Marine, I can assure you that I too am amazed that anyone would put prisoners in the hands of Marines and expect any other sort of outcome. They, we if you will though I'm inactive, are not trained like normal soldiers. We serve only one function. Each and every Marine is first and foremost a rifleman. Our cooks? The office staff? Logistics? Computers? All are first rifleman. It is nothing like the other branches of the service and nothing like the movies.

            • by jd (1658)
              In England, it's called Gaffer Tape. It is also inappropriate to use on Gaffers. Well, except by dubiously-employed women on request.
      • Re:Thwack it... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by oldspewey (1303305) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:36PM (#25196937)

        the "thwack" repair method seldom lasts long

        Almost three years ago, our dishwasher (which was only a year old at the time) stopped working. After a bit of troubleshooting I determined that the solenoid valve in the water intake was shot - my multimeter indicated that it was receiving an electrical signal, but the valve wouldn't open so the dishwasher couldn't fill.

        I whacked it with a hammer and it's been working flawlessly ever since.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *
          key word is "seldom". I have to take my clothes dryer apart; I'm sure it's a relay or solenoid, and I'm going to try the "thwack it" method of repair before shelling out for a new part.
          • Meh, my washer/dryer started popping and sparking on Saturday and was still doing so as I dived across the kitchen floor to pull the plug.

            I think it's beyond thwackable.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mcgrew (92797) *

              Probably, but whether the cure is a good thwack or electrical tape, you still have to take the thing apart.

              It sounds like some waterproofing dried up and cracked and caused a short when water got in it. A little duct tape and electrical tape may be all you need.

              • by KGIII (973947) *

                Meh.. It is petty, I know, but it pisses me off when I see stuff labeled with, "No user servicable parts inside." It started showing up on stuff when the term "Solid State" got added to stuff. They just underestimate the power of the user.

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  It ised to annoy me too, until I realized that there aren't any parts servicable by the normal user. You and I aren't normal.

                  Back in the old days they had things we don't have now, and lacked things we do have now, which is what caused those messages.

                  They had tubes, which anyone could diagnose and repair - if a tube was dark, you pulled it out and replaced it.

                  They didn't have lawsuits by people too ignorant to know that touching a big can capacitor's leads can kill you even if the TV is unplugged.

        • That's just about the classic selenoid-repair method for pretty much anything. Works similar on cars - if your battery is good and it won't turn over, thwack the selenoid before heading to the starter.
          • I have seen a good many starters restarted with a good swift thwacking . . .
            • by ColaMan (37550)

              I've seen a good many starter motors broken because of a good swift thwacking too.

              Newer reduction drive starter motors have permanent magnets for the field, which are fragile. Thwacking the body of the starter motor generally cracks them and ruins the starter. If you can hold the starter for your V8 in the palm of your hand, it's a reduction drive unit.

              If you're going to thwack a starter, thwack carefully. Aim for the end cap where the brushes are, or the solenoid body and just give it a few firm taps. Don'

        • by Mascot (120795)

          Almost three years ago, our dishwasher (which was only a year old at the time) stopped working.

          One year old and you didn't get a free repair or replacement? I recently had most of the innards of my tumble dryer swapped out free of charge when it failed. That thing was almost four years old.

          Or you were you just looking for an excuse to use a hammer. :P

          • by oldspewey (1303305) on Monday September 29, 2008 @05:12PM (#25198013)

            Option 1: Phone the manufacturer, arrange for a service call, take time off work to make sure I'm home, make small talk with a technician for 30-60 minutes while he diagnoses the same problem I already found, listen in disbelief when he tells me he doesn't have the appropriate part on hand, arrange for another service call, take more time off work ....

            Option 2: Hit the solenoid with a hammer.

        • Re:Thwack it... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Rorschach1 (174480) on Monday September 29, 2008 @05:28PM (#25198179) Homepage

          I once saw some old video from one of the Apollo landings where the color wheel on one of the fixed cameras got stuck. Ground control asks one of the astronauts to take a look at it, and he slowly bounces over to it and THWACK - hits it with a gloved hand and gets the color wheel unstuck. If anyone knows where I can find that on the web, let me know... it's one of my favorite Apollo clips.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by smaddox (928261)

          I'm unaware of any solenoid valves on the Hubble Space Telescope.

        • by mpe (36238)
          Almost three years ago, our dishwasher (which was only a year old at the time) stopped working. After a bit of troubleshooting I determined that the solenoid valve in the water intake was shot - my multimeter indicated that it was receiving an electrical signal, but the valve wouldn't open so the dishwasher couldn't fill.
          I whacked it with a hammer and it's been working flawlessly ever since.


          But it would have been rather more difficult if you didn't have gravity to hold your dishwasher (and feet) to the
      • You don't fix Rolls Royces or Hubble Telescopes with duct tape!

        Quite right. You actually fix Hubble Telescopes with kapton tape [dupont.com]. It's not nearly as tough as duct tape, but it also doesn't turn brittle in extreme cold or sublimate its adhesive in a vacuum, and it's a great electrical insulator. The crew of the ISS recently made some unplanned repairs during a spacewalk to one of its solar arrays using tools they jury-rigged with Kapton tape and available utensils.

        You can bet the crew of Atlantis will have a

      • Is it "Duct" or "Duck" Tape ?
        http://www.ducttapeguys.com/duckvsduct.html [ducttapeguys.com]
    • by orielbean (936271)
      Or Fonzie to fix the jukebox...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      If that doesn't work, send up Richard Dean Andersen with some duct tape.

      Wouldn't an F-302 [wikipedia.org] be more useful than duct-tape?

      Wait, which show are we referencing, again?

      • Both... Richard Dean Anderson has made several McGyver references in SG-1.

        Now to your question: No not really. A F-302 doesn't have any type of airlock. A Tel'tak or an Al'kesh is probably what you'd need.
    • Or just send up McGuyver with a straw, a paperclip and a rubber band.

      Everyone knows Duct Tape is just McGuyvers way of saying "Jesus people, I can only be in 5 places at once."
  • Tagged "oops" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KGIII (973947) *

    Let's see if it sticks.

    I dearly love NASA but, well, it is going to get harder to convince the public to continue funding if they have an impression of a high failure rate.

    • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Detritus (11846) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:38PM (#25196961) Homepage
      High failure rate?! The HST is a very complex spacecraft. Parts wear out and break. That's why spacecraft are designed with redundant systems. HST was designed to be repaired and upgraded in-orbit, and has already exceeded its design lifetime. In the real world, components fail and increased reliability is not free. Spacecraft engineering is a balancing act. You want to accomplish the mission with minimum cost and a relatively high probability of success. Spacecraft projects that can't manage risks and costs get canceled. There is a limited pool of money and NASA has a responsibility to get the most scientific bang for the buck.
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by MightyYar (622222)

        just posting to kill the accidental redundant mod that I made... it was supposed to be "insightful"!

      • by KGIII (973947) *

        "impression of" -- key words

        Impression of doesn't mean that they have a high fail rate. Only that Joe Sixpack only notices the bad news on the television. Somehow I got modded flamebait 'cause people don't actually read so very well.

      • There is a limited pool of money

        The pool of money is limited, but only by the level of debt [google.com]. NASA could simply burrow some more :-)

    • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Volante3192 (953645) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:40PM (#25196979)

      Yeah, cause the HST's just been a fountain of failures since it was lanched in 1990.

      Seriously, outside of that mirror bit early on, we've serviced the Hubble thrice. And it's up there in one of the most extreme environments imaginable. I can't imagine a piece of kit on Earth surviving 18+ years with only five service calls.

      • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:24PM (#25197471) Homepage Journal

        I can't imagine a piece of kit on Earth surviving 18+ years with only five service calls.

        The Panasonic portable TV I left in a house I moved out of in 2004 or 5 (Paxil withdrawal, home foreclosure, bankrupcy, it's diaried at K5 somewhere) was the same one I watched Niel and Buzz land on the moon with!

        It had two repairs, despite falling out of moving vehicles, dropped, and suffering other indignities: The insulation on the power cord cracked and caused a short (fixed with electrical tape) and the tuner knob broke (fixed by using pliars to change channels).

        They don't make 'em like they used to.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sorak (246725)

          I can't imagine a piece of kit on Earth surviving 18+ years with only five service calls.

          The Panasonic portable TV I left in a house I moved out of in 2004 or 5 (Paxil withdrawal, home foreclosure, bankrupcy, it's diaried at K5 somewhere) was the same one I watched Niel and Buzz land on the moon with!

          It had two repairs, despite falling out of moving vehicles, dropped, and suffering other indignities: The insulation on the power cord cracked and caused a short (fixed with electrical tape) and the tuner knob broke (fixed by using pliars to change channels).

          They don't make 'em like they used to.

          So you're saying we should send that television into space?

      • by KGIII (973947) *

        Please re-read my post. All of it. It isn't long or complicated or anything. "Impression of" -- those would be the key words. Not that they're high rates, only that people only get fed the bad stuff on their nightly news or morning radio talk show and that means that NASA doesn't sound so good to the uninformed.

      • by caluml (551744)

        it's up there in one of the most extreme environments imaginable.

        Is it? I thought it was in space. You know, no wind, no rain, no monkeys, no bacteria.
        Now - on the surface of Venus - that's inhospitable. Inside a volcano - same. But in the silent, floaty calm of space?

        • by jackbird (721605)
          Extreme thermal cycling every few hours, hard radiation all the time, the occasional micrometorite, and extreme difficulty removing heat from your electronics. Not to mention the odd things various materials might do unexpectedly after a decade or two of microgravity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oldspewey (1303305)
      My understanding was that Hubble had a life expectancy of 20 years. It was launched in 1990, so going dark in 2008 is perhaps a little premature but hardly what I'd call a failure.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by drerwk (695572)

        My understanding was that Hubble had a life expectancy of 20 years.

        From where do you understand this?
        Design Life: Designed for a 15 year life with on-orbit servicing. http://www.aerospaceguide.net/hubblespacetelescope.html [aerospaceguide.net]
        And naturally things would be going better if on-orbit servicing was still considered a regular option.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        HST was scheduled to fly in Oct '86 when Challenger blew up. It sat in a clean room, powered up and purged with nitrogen, for 3-4 years before flight. The wait wasn't so kind to Galileo, her high gain antenna wouldn't unfurl after all that time and there would be no possible servicing mission.

    • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brett Buck (811747) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:54PM (#25197143)

      This is just bullshit. All that has happened is a primary unit had failed, after close to 20 years of flight (not to mention the grossly excessive "shelf life" resulting from the Challenger launch delay). They have a backup, that's what it is there for. And this is hardly a high failure rate, we have already gotten more than it was designed for.

              Brett

      • by KGIII (973947) *

        "impression of"

        Seems /. is having issues with the whole sentences today. It isn't that I think it has a high failure rate. It is that when Joe Sixpack only gets the news of bad things concerning NASA and sees the debt that the country is in he's going to start getting antsy.

    • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sloppy (14984) on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:11PM (#25197317) Homepage Journal

      I dearly love NASA but, well, it is going to get harder to convince the public to continue funding if they have an impression of a high failure rate.

      Um, it was launched in 1990. Anyone who thinks NASA is incompetent simply because their stuff doesn't last "enough decades" has an unwinable vote anyway. I love NASA a lot less than you, but I sure as hell don't see this as serious anti-NASA propaganda fuel.

      • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KGIII (973947) * on Monday September 29, 2008 @05:00PM (#25197873) Journal

        The masses aren't very bright and they're allowed to vote and call their congress critters. Hell, look at all the people who responded somehow managing to conclude that I thought that this was a high failure rate. I worry about NASA in this day and age. With the impending lapse of manned flight and a potential to not have access to the space station I worry that we're falling behind. If, for no other reason than moral, we needed the space program at first. Today we need it just to keep up.

        When I was a kid the entire family or the entire school would gather around to watch the launches live. Today you seldom get those launches on your major channels and the only coverage is failure. I don't know how many people who've said stuff like, "We don't need a space program." Granted, these are likely the same people who say stuff like, "Let's bomb Iran next, serves them Arabs right." The problem is that they vote and are allowed to.

        I hold a special place in my heart for NASA or space programs in general. You ask a kid what they want to be today and they want to be a rap star. When I was young we all wanted to be astronauts. The only time they see or hear about space is when goes wrong or, worse, blows up and kills people.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You ask a kid what they want to be today and they want to be a rap star. ... The only time they see or hear about space is when goes wrong or, worse, blows up and kills people.

          To be fair, that's when we normally hear about rap stars, too.

    • Re:Tagged "oops" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Monday September 29, 2008 @06:17PM (#25198777) Homepage

      As has already been noted, NASA's failure rate isn't really that high. If anything, it may be the reverse: NASA has become so risk-adverse (it's argued) that the public has forgotten how *hard* space is and it starts to seem boring. (And like a good idea to raid the NASA budget for other projects because they appear to have more than they need.)

      • by KGIII (973947) *

        Pardon my frustration at this point but, as has already been noted... I'm aware of that and that's my concern exactly. The "average" person only gets their news from what is spoon fed to them via their broadcast media. They only hear about the bad generally. When your average citizen is under the IMPRESSION OF the NASA being a series of failures they are going to whine, vote, and call their congress critters. This is just one more thing that can be seen as a failure to the general public. This is just one m

  • by FireStormZ (1315639) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:22PM (#25196753)

    After all the Hubble is less responsible for its state than Wall street is for where it ended up!

    • by rhsanborn (773855) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:30PM (#25196849)
      Unfortunately, Congress dropping 700 Billion on Wall Street might end up cutting into NASA's budget, along with several other programs.
      • by rhsanborn (773855)
        I hadn't caught up with the headlines, perhaps with the defeat of the bail out bill, my previous post will be moot.
      • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:23PM (#25197449)
        As a comparison the entire Apollo program cost about 135 Billion (in 2005 Dollars).
        • by jd (1658)
          Then save humanity at cut-price - ship Wall Street to the moon at a fraction of the cost of repairing it.
      • by BAM0027 (82813)

        The government's abilities to use finances in creative ways of thwarting science (in particular) continue to amaze me. I was just listening to a broadcast this morning on NPR (KPBS) of "These Days" which discussed various ways, both active and passive, of manipulating research counter to progress [kpbs.org].

        If you get the chance to listen to it, lemme know what you think.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eclectro (227083)

      Yes, but the Hubble still needs a bail out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:22PM (#25196759)

    Invasion.

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by jfbilodeau (931293)

      I for one welcome our new Hubble-Telescope-Disabling overlords!

      (Please forgive me...You know that someone had to say that!)

  • by casualsax3 (875131) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:27PM (#25196807)
    ... than after the repair mission.
    • by Zymergy (803632) *
      Sorta lowers expectations doesn't it?
      Makes me wonder about that near-future 5-year gap where the US will have no way to get up there and repair our assets in space (like the Hubble)??...
      Maybe China and their space program are rising to the challenge so we can outsource out space program to them (as well as manufacturing, etc...) ...At least I can say that I was made in the USA!
    • by jd (1658)

      Well, arguably you are correct, assuming they can fix the problem on a single repair mission. There is now so much that needs fixing that they may need to make two missions to Hubble. (The fact that NASA claims this is the "final repair mission" and yet is going to insist on installing a docking port... That's a strong hint to me that they see nothing final about this at all. Why add a docking port if there's nothing in future that is going to dock with it?)

      The current updates from NASA suggest that module

      • by ckaminski (82854)
        The docking port/module is for the expected automated de-orbiting robot that will send Hubble to it's fiery Pacific Ocean doom sometime in the "future"!
      • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:13PM (#25197329) Homepage Journal

        Why add a docking port if there's nothing in future that is going to dock with it?

        To increase its sale value, silly.

      • by mpe (36238)
        Well, arguably you are correct, assuming they can fix the problem on a single repair mission. There is now so much that needs fixing that they may need to make two missions to Hubble. (The fact that NASA claims this is the "final repair mission" and yet is going to insist on installing a docking port... That's a strong hint to me that they see nothing final about this at all. Why add a docking port if there's nothing in future that is going to dock with it?)

        At what point would it be cheaper to replace the
    • I was just thinking that it was so lucky the part failed TWO WEEKS before the last repair mision ever was going to be launched--and lucky that the part was not needed for the safe operation of Hubble. It would have sucked if Hubble had to be de-orbited right before the repair mission. Hopefully, the gyroscopes and other parts necessary to keep the Hubble safely in orbit hold out until the makeup repair session.

  • Hubble, Hubble, toil and trouble, watch starfire burn with excitement bubble.

  • Oops? (Score:1, Funny)

    by MrNiceguy_KS (800771)

    Overheard at NASA:

    "Dammit, who's turn was it to pay the Dish Network bill?"

  • I have Karma to burn...

    Mike broke the Hubble, Mike broke the hubble!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe too many people were using the Hubble's bandwidth once they figured out that was cheaper than text messaging. [slashdot.org]

  • by ChrisCampbell47 (181542) on Monday September 29, 2008 @03:54PM (#25197131)
    Press conference at 6pm EDT, more info then. Bill Harwood at CBS Spaceplace usually does good writeups, as does Chris Bergin at nasaspaceflight.com , so look over there tonight.
  • Maybe the Aliens changed their privacy policy to prevent external sources from snooping
  • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#25197579)
    In case anybody was wondering, because I was...

    It was launched in 1990 for a 15 year mission, extended to 20 after some servicing. It was expected to last until 2010 (the year we make contact? sorry I could not help it) so its already done its job very well.

    As I understand it Interferometry can largely do a better job from the surface, please correct me if I am wrong...

    And as pointed out elsewhere they are short on shuttle flights and 700Bn down, so its not looking good for Hubble.
    • by tomz16 (992375) on Monday September 29, 2008 @05:00PM (#25197893)

      (polite correction)...

      Saying "Interferometry can do better" makes no sense... similar to saying "RISC can do better" for you computer geeks. It's basically jargon + the phrase can do better. Meaningless without a problem statement and a lot of background info.

      In reality, very few optical telescopes can operate in an interferometric mode, and there's a specific class of problems where it's actually useful. Furthermore, I think it would hard to define "better" in this context. FYI there are also preliminary plans out there for formation-flying interferometric space telescopes (none are currently on the map for real funding AFAIK).

      In terms of absolute resolution over a small field with just a single telescope (non-interferometric), ground-based Adaptive Optics *can* do better (under certain conditions)... in the near future, they will be able to do significantly better than the Hubble over a much larger range of conditions... -But- there are still PLENTY of things that ONLY a space telescope can do, a buttload of things it does "better", and tons of interesting science that remains to be done.

  • by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch.gmail@com> on Monday September 29, 2008 @04:41PM (#25197657)

    The Hubble Space Telescope has suspended operations so that it can focus on solving the financial crisis.

  • Damn you Nelson Destroyer of Worlds!
    • by KGIII (973947) *

      Pfft... The USA was issued a DMCA takedown notice by the Martians who had previously provided the footage for the rover so that they could remain in peace. As the laws go they had no choice but to take it down but were also handed a gag order from the TMSA (terrestrial martian security agency) and so had to come up with this as an excuse. The launch isn't to fix it but to seek a resolution to enable continued operation of the telescope but because the martians would like to come out from under the ground on

  • What I wonder is what are they going to do with Endeavour on LC-39B. It is not necessary to have it there anymore as STS-125 is postponed, but was still going to go up soon for STS-126. Since they can't scuttle the pad now (as they'll need it for the rescheduled STS-125 flight next year), will they just launch from LC-39B? or are they going to do a weird rain dance, moving Atlantis back to the VBA, and Endeavour to LC-39A?

    Also, the Constellation folks won't be pleased about Yet Another Delay(TM)...
  • Work has begun to switch the telescope to the backup channel. It is a complicated process; the backup channels on the various modules that must be switched over have not been turned on since the late 1980s or early 1990, right before Hubble was launched. The Hubble team hopes to complete the job by the end of the week.

    I would get in so much trouble if I don't regularly test my backup and failover systems...
     

    • by KGIII (973947) *

      Though, for you, it is probably a much shorter distance.

    • I would get in so much trouble if I don't regularly test my backup and failover systems...

      I don't think it's that simple. If your redundancy systems fail on earth then you can walk up to them and fix them.
      If they fail on a remote spacecraft in orbit then you know you have problems. But suppose during the test you couldn't swap back to the known working systems. On an eartbound system you can plan for this and if needed force the redundancy swapover system to swap back to the working system. You can't do this for a system in orbit if you have both lost contact and have no physical access to the s

  • Could not they have wacked it with a hammer while they were up there?

    Or perhaps they did ...

    BTW, cnn seems to be slashdotted at present! Slashdot brings cnn to its knees (or perhaps not)

  • by billybob_jcv (967047) on Monday September 29, 2008 @06:01PM (#25198565)
    ...can find their Windows/386 boot disk...
  • "Respect our privacy! Stop peeping, Earthlings!"

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