NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope resumed observations March 11 after a software error placed it in a protective safe mode several days earlier, but the incident is a reminder of the telescope’s mortality.
The ultimate demise of the remaining Great Observatories has some astronomers worried about gaps in coverage of the universe.
As one group of engineers continues to diagnose a gyro problem that has sidelined the Hubble Space Telescope, another is dealing with a problem that has put operations of another large space observatory on hold.
The approach NASA has taken with James Webb Space Telescope, with no ability to repair or upgrade the telescope after its launch, stands in sharp contrast to what it did with JWST’s predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. Some believe NASA should embrace servicing, and even assembly, of future space telescopes.
A group of astronomers and engineers is seeking to convince NASA to study in-space servicing and assembly of future space telescopes, including the role the proposed Deep Space Gateway could play to support it.
Discoveries involving two “ocean world” moons in the outer solar system announced April 13 are likely to bolster the case for planned and proposed spacecraft missions to those worlds.
It was 1976, America’s bicentennial, but the nation’s celebratory mood did not extend to big-ticket astronomy projects — at least not as far as Congress was concerned.