White House to Hubble..So long..it's been nice.


Hubble will be missed.

By most anyway.



We can’t have any of that nasty “science” stuff getting in the way of much-needed social security reform, now can we? Still, I think we’ll be better off with the new one, called the Webb, I think? Not that Hubble isn’t worth saving, its just not the end of the world.

Bush getting re-elected? That was the end of the world

I was at Edwards when the Discovery landed after launching Hubble. I gave the mug up in the Great Dope Mug Exchange of 2004.

We seem to be less than giants these days. Where did our vision go?

I agree. The best way to get rid of all that science stuff is to keep giving the scientists money to keep discovering it. It’s a brilliant plan. Science will never see it coming.

This thread is ill-conceived. Hubble has lived past its planned lifespan, and the technology has become dated. I understand the sentiment for Hubble, but the cost of refitting it would be in excess of a billion dollars, and the money would be used better for other projects that would do good science. In an ideal world, NASA would be better-funded, but given that the Luddites running this country disdain science, you gotta make hard choices.

All I can say for the space program is: Go China Go!(India too). It is becoming obvious to me that the realm of space exploration and settlement will be with the emerging powers and not the United States.

I know people who work for NASA and several of the companies thay supply NASA with shuttle parts. After listening to a few of them give me details about what’s going on, I sadly had to give up on any thoughts of us being the leader in this area.

Half a week of Iraq, that’s chump change. On the bright side, maybe the flight controllers at NASA will screw up the deorbit burn and drop it on the white house.

Citizen: Squink. Charge: Unacceptable irony. Disposition: Pending

I have a lot invested in Hubble. I salivated over the prospect from the moment I first heard of it, I was overjoyed when it was funded but dismayed by the challenges. I wanted to buy the entire world a beer when it was sucessfully launched. And I wanted to personally execute a particular team of optical scientists when the mirror proved to have been flawed (torn between the Death by Ten Thousand Cuts and the ever popular fire ant mound and honey trick…)
I sweated out the repair mission, and nearly developed rabies when they announced that they wouldn’t release the new pictures right away, wanted to keep them to themselves for a while, the fucking assholes! Ah, but ever since.

But surely we can do at least as well again? If the argument is: lets take the billion dollars and do better, I will throw the full weight of my support behind it.

Does anyone else get the impression that this whole “Mission To Mars” thing is just an excuse for the militarization of space, as a response to the Chinese “threat” of a manned space program and possible moon landing? I can’t really imagine why this would be a priority for the Bush Administration, which otherwise seems to have very little use for science or pure research. {Tactfully avoids any mention of stem cells or alternative energy…:mad:}

I’m all for space exploration, manned (where appropriate) and unmanned, but Mars? Aside from planetary geology reasearch and the currently popular Search For Life On Other Worlds, Mars doesn’t have a heck of a lot to offer. Why not exploit the asteroids first?

As for Hubble, it is an old piece of hardware, but it’s hardly obsolete. Repair vs. replacement is definitely cost-effective (even at NASA’s bloated figures), and there’s an enoumous list of researchers vying for time on Hubble, even if Webb is launched and is operational. Letting Hubble go to rot is nickel-and-dime cost-cutting on a well-paying investment.

Maybe I should start boning up on Mandrian…or Punjab. :rolleyes:


Well, that’s pretty much how the whole American Space program started: with the threat of a Soviet manned space program and moon landing. A good, healthy space race would be good for NASA. Unfortunately, I don’t see China as offering a very strong “threat.”

For one thing, they’re a heck of a lot farther away. Mars is just at the edge of what is feasible to reach with manned missions today. The asteroids are pretty much impossible.

And if by “exploit” you mean “mine,” there’s no way (even if it were possible to send men, or if we managed to develop a high-tech robot miner) that the gains would outweigh the expense.

Heck, even if the moon were filled with gold, space mining wouldn’t be worth the expense. Space travel is too expensive.

With NASA’s budget, it has to do “nickel-and-dime cost-cutting.”

The way I see it, the Mars thing is political vaporware. Does anyone else remember when Bush promised that broadband would be available to everyone by 2007? Has anyone heard from the White House about this since? And has anyone heard about a mission to Mars since?

Astronauts, the new conquistadors!

I think Bush is just pissed that they can’t get him pictures of Heaven. ::snort::

We cannot afford everything, just because we like Hubble doesn’t mean it is the best way to spend the money. God forbid we had to touch the vital subsidy to teenage girls in halter tops for example.

Still, I would feel better if cutting Hubble got us something for sure.

Nobody expects the Martian Inquisition!

Speaking of giants, we landed a probe on Titan last week, getting photos of a hydrocarbon sea, evaporating tributaries, and generally had a supremely funky time of it. We’re chucking things at comets to see what we can knock off, we’ve got two robots trundling around Mars, we’ve got the James Webb telescope in the pipeline and a veritable arseload of other cool stuff. There’s no vision problem that I can see (har har). Sure, Hubble has been the crown jewel for a fair while, but all good things must come to an end…

Loopus, there are plently of near-Earth asteroids (e.g. Eros). We don’t have to go all the way to the asteroid belt.

And I’m with TM. Did Kennedy suggest that we start working on a lunar mission, so that, you know, sometime, four or five admnistrations down the line, we land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth?

I’m not saying that a manned mission to Mars is necessarily a good goal for spaceflight right now, but if it is going to be a goal, let’s be serious about it. The wussy, half-hearted lipservice being paid to the program now isn’t going to amount to squat, especially if we waste time boondoggling around with a lunar station–and if even that happens in my lifetime the shock will give me a stroke, so it’s for damned sure I’m doomed never live to see the first person walk on Mars!

It sucks that we’re going to have such a long gap between HST and JWST. It’s not planned to launch until 2011. YIKES, that’s a long way away! And it might not be launched on time. Thank Og for adaptive optics . . . but as far as UV astronomers go–sucks to be you!

I dunno, it’s only just 2005 and broadband is available to most people, I think. Costs are coming down each year, too. He didn’t say that the government was going to give it to everyone for free.

I wouldn’t be certain about the latter; the Chinese are very clever about doing things on the cheap, their technological capabilities are increasing by leaps and bounds, and more than any other spacefaring nation they have a need to utilize extraplanetary resources giving how they’ve stripped the homeland of every available commodity.

I doubt NASA could effectively compete in a modern space race. It would require a cultural shift back to more risk-oriented leadership and a less bureaucratic structure. Of course, all the more reason, in that case, to hand off the program to the Air Force…hence, a military presence in space. I world in the defense industry (:() and I’ve noticed that the Air Force has put a lot of focus into conceptual space-based projects. And although it’s not the front page issue it was when Reagan was spouting off about 1980’s Style Death Rays, there is a heck of a lot of investment by the Army and Navy in various forms of ballistic missile defense.:dubious:

I’d say that Mars is non-feasable for a manned mission today, and will remain so until we spend a significant effort on advanced propulsion and long-term space habitation.

The advantage of the asteroids is that there are more targets both near and far (thus less of a “window of opportunity” problem) and easier to explore (little or no gravity well to fight). There’s a lot of good science knowledge to be had from the asteroids (regarding the formation of the solar system) that isn’t really going to be found on any planetary body, and resource extraction, though non-trivial, is several orders of magnitude easier.

As for the cost: at one time in the not-to-distant past, air travel was too expensive. Before that, ocean commerce; et cetera ad nausum. Reduction in cost comes with maturity of the technology, and the potenial rewards justify the investment (though it we bring back a gigaton lump of solid gold, nickel, and platinum we are going to undermine the minerals commodity market like Indiana Jones in a booby-trapped catacomb.)

And (to get back to the OP) Hubble? Sure, it’s old, but like the car your neighbor wants to sell, it’s paid for and with a modest amount of tinkering, it runs fine. If we can shell out gigabucks and Shuttle missions on the ill-advised ISS, we can throw a few hundred million at the proven and still-valuable Hubble.