Home Mail MemberMap Chat (0) Wallpapers
Go Back   ChiefsPlanet > The Lounge

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-07-2009, 03:30 PM  
Donger Donger is offline
"Think BOOM!"
 
Donger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: 33.675 N 106.475 W
Casino cash: $381
VARSITY
Astronauts making one last house call to Hubble

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090507/...shuttle_hubble

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The Hubble Space Telescope is about to get one last house call. And never before have the risks been higher.

On Monday, astronauts will rocket away to the most famous telescope of modern times. They'll be taking up new scientific instruments, replacement parts for broken cameras and fresh batteries that should keep Hubble running for five to 10 years.

This cosmic-scale grand finale stalled seven months by a telescope breakdown will be NASA's most daring overhaul yet of the 19-year-old orbiting observatory, a captivating, twinkling jewel in the sky representing $10 billion of investment.

Never before have spacewalking astronauts attempted to fix dead science instruments on the Hubble, equipment that was never meant to be handled in orbit. Before they've just swapped out the whole thing at the telescope, which started out life shockingly nearsighted.

In all, five spacewalks will be performed in as many days by two repair teams. Two of the repairmen have visited Hubble before and, because of that, were chosen for this extraordinarily difficult job, on a par with operating-room surgery.

"Hubble needs a hug," said the chief repairman, John Grunsfeld, who will be making his third trip to the telescope.

Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew of seven will face increased danger from space junk because of Hubble's extremely high and littered orbit 350 miles up. They will need someone to come and get them fast if their ship sustains serious Columbia-type damage during launch or later in flight. They will not have the luxury of camping out at the international space station while awaiting rescue. The space station will be in another orbit and impossible to reach.

The mission, once canceled because it was considered too perilous, has an unprecedented safety net: another space shuttle on the launch pad. There is no guarantee, though, that NASA could pull off a rescue in time to save the Hubble crew. It would take three to seven days, at least, to launch a second shuttle.

All seven astronauts agree Hubble is worth risking their lives for.

"I'm only going to do that if I think it's for something really important, and I think Hubble is really important," said Grunsfeld, an astronaut-astrophysicist. Hubble is "worth bringing up to date and extending its vision even farther."

"It's showing us the way" to distant galaxies and, indeed, the actual edge of the universe, said the mission's commander, Scott Altman. "The next step is for us to try and go there."

Altman and his crew were just two weeks away from liftoff last fall when Hubble broke down and stopped sending pictures. NASA got the telescope working again with a backup channel on the failed command and data-handing unit, but the shuttle flight took a seven-month hit as engineers scrambled to get an old spare unit ready for launch.

No telescope ever has received as much hoo-ha or been on such a seesaw as Hubble, which has circled Earth more than 100,000 times and logged nearly 3 billion miles.

Launched aboard the space shuttle in 1990, Hubble went "from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Dead Sea" in two months flat, observed NASA's science chief, Ed Weiler. The orbiting telescope had blurred vision; its primary mirror had been improperly ground.

Astronauts fixed everything in 1993 by installing corrective lenses and returned three more times in 1997, 1999 and 2002 to install better cameras and make other improvements.

In the meantime, Hubble was churning out breathtaking vistas of the cosmos, including the celebrated image of Eagle Nebula, a star-forming region 6,500 light years away. The picture is often referred to as "Pillars of Creation."

Hubble has shed light on the age of the universe (13.7 billion years) and shown that the universe may be expanding quicker than ever, and proved the existence of supermassive black holes, among other things. The telescope has peered back in time to within 800 million years of the first moments of the universe. The new instruments going up will take astronomers to within 500 million to 600 million years of creation.

Ground-based telescopes might see better than Hubble "over a very, very tiny field of view," Weiler said. "But you don't see Eagle Nebulas on the cover of Time magazine taken from the ground. You see them from Hubble. Hubble still has a unique niche."

The 2003 Columbia disaster put the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission that had been scheduled for 2004 on indefinite hold and, one year later, completely knocked it off the shuttle lineup.

With the public outraged over the abandonment of Hubble, NASA considered the idea of sending up a robot to replace the batteries and gyroscopes, plug in the latest wide-field camera, and perform some other jobs. But the robot plan never jelled, and the NASA administrator at the time, Michael Griffin, nixed it. Instead, Griffin approved one last Hubble tuneup by astronauts. He left NASA in January with the change in the White House.

Grunsfeld disagreed about the robot mission.

"I have absolutely no doubt it would have worked," Grunsfeld told The Associated Press. "I do think that we got a little too greedy and tried to propose that (a Hubble robot mission) would do a lot more than it really could."

Grunsfeld is quick to note that no robot could have tackled some chores they'll undertake installing the new cosmic origins spectrograph for detecting faint light from faraway quasars and repairing two failed science instruments.

The spacewalkers will have to undo 117 fasteners to get to a bad electronics board inside an old imaging spectrograph, and deal with a hard-to-get-around corner to replace burned-out power supply cards in an advanced camera for surveys.

"It's right at the edge of what I think people can do, period," Grunsfeld said of the repairs.

In addition to all that, the astronauts will put in a new fine guidance sensor, part of Hubble's pointing system, add some steel skin to the telescope's blistered exterior. And they will hook up an improved capture ring so a future robot-guided craft can latch onto the Hubble and steer the observatory into a Pacific grave sometime in the early 2020s.

"I think of Hubble as a roller coaster," Weiler said late last month, referring to all its ups and downs. But the bottom line is, "Everybody loves Hubble now."

It's even won over the Twittering crowd. Astronaut Michael Massimino has been filing training updates via Twitter for the past month; he hopes to post from orbit, but is uncertain whether he'll have time.

Before tragedy struck with Columbia, Weiler envisioned a space shuttle bringing Hubble back to Earth and the telescope "the great American comeback story" being displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

He imagined "little school kids going up to this huge four-story telescope and being able to say, 'That's what filled your textbook with pictures and traveled billions of miles in orbit.' "

Instead, the world will eventually watch as Hubble plunges from the sky.

Grunsfeld who will have spent more time working on Hubble in space than any other human said he will have no remorse when it comes time to leave the telescope near the end of the 11-day shuttle mission.

"The increase in Hubble's capability and the life extension is going to be so phenomenal that I'm just going to be thrilled to see it as it recedes onto the horizon as just another bright star," he said.

He's already planning a huge party for when Hubble plummets out of the sky in another decade or so, on a cruise ship somewhere in the Pacific.
Posts: 78,176
Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:41 PM   #2
Otter Otter is offline
holding a blood clot at birth
 
Otter's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Durango, CO
Casino cash: $9658
So after 2014, does the telescope become a 2.5 billion dollar larger than average piece of space junk? It seems like there would be a lot of precious metals and reusalbe parts.

If there was any justice in the universe on the day after it goes out of commission it would drop square on GM corporate headquarters annihilating everything in its path.
__________________
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not - Thomas Jefferson, 1801.
Posts: 13,363
Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
Donger Donger is offline
"Think BOOM!"
 
Donger's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: 33.675 N 106.475 W
Casino cash: $381
VARSITY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
So after 2014, does the telescope become a 2.5 billion dollar larger than average piece of space junk? It seems like there would be a lot of precious metals and reusalbe parts.

If there was any justice in the universe on the day after it goes out of commission it would drop square on GM corporate headquarters annihilating everything in its path.
If this mission is successful, Hubble will be operational for another 5 to 10 years. After that, she'll be de-orbited.
__________________
I think the young people enjoy it when I "get down," verbally, don't you?
Posts: 78,176
Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
Buck Buck is offline
Take a Chill Pill
 
Buck's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Casino cash: $4162
Interesting that they are putting these Astronauts at risk for this mission.
Posts: 42,321
Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
oldandslow oldandslow is offline
Veteran
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Casino cash: $7178
Hubble is science at its best.
Posts: 3,816
oldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitellioldandslow 's adopt a chief was Sabby Piscitelli
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
Otter Otter is offline
holding a blood clot at birth
 
Otter's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Durango, CO
Casino cash: $9658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
If this mission is successful, Hubble will be operational for another 5 to 10 years. After that, she'll be de-orbited.
I guess I was wondering if they would try and salvage some of the parts before jettisoning but it doesn't sound like the risk vs. reward ratio works out in favor of the astronauts.

Still worth the money in my opinion. Not trying to get off this blue marble at some stage in the game is stupidity at its finest.
__________________
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not - Thomas Jefferson, 1801.
Posts: 13,363
Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.Otter has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
Tytanium Tytanium is offline
Starter
 

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lawrence
Casino cash: $6933
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaCenterJunkie View Post
Interesting that they are putting these Astronauts at risk for this mission.

All astronauts have been at risk since the beginning of the space program. There is nothing new about this particular shuttle launch.
Posts: 324
Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.Tytanium is not part of the Right 53.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
Besides, big day tomorrow
 
Iowanian's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Utopia
Casino cash: $15237
If they can "catch it" enough to work on it, why can't they load it back onto the shuttle and bring it back to earth for an overhaul?
Posts: 51,031
Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #9
Donger Donger is offline
"Think BOOM!"
 
Donger's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: 33.675 N 106.475 W
Casino cash: $381
VARSITY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
I guess I was wondering if they would try and salvage some of the parts before jettisoning but it doesn't sound like the risk vs. reward ratio works out in favor of the astronauts.

Still worth the money in my opinion. Not trying to get off this blue marble at some stage in the game is stupidity at its finest.
Hubble is scheduled to be replaced by another space telescope (the JWST) in 2013, IIRC.

And, we do have plans to go back to the Moon and beyond. Well, we did, anyway. The new administration is about to start a review of NASA's missions shortly. Hopefully, they'll keep moving forward.
__________________
I think the young people enjoy it when I "get down," verbally, don't you?
Posts: 78,176
Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
Donger Donger is offline
"Think BOOM!"
 
Donger's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: 33.675 N 106.475 W
Casino cash: $381
VARSITY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tytanium View Post
All astronauts have been at risk since the beginning of the space program. There is nothing new about this particular shuttle launch.
Well, it is risky than going to the ISS.
__________________
I think the young people enjoy it when I "get down," verbally, don't you?
Posts: 78,176
Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #11
Donger Donger is offline
"Think BOOM!"
 
Donger's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: 33.675 N 106.475 W
Casino cash: $381
VARSITY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
If they can "catch it" enough to work on it, why can't they load it back onto the shuttle and bring it back to earth for an overhaul?
Because the additional weight would make the orbiter rather tricky to land.
__________________
I think the young people enjoy it when I "get down," verbally, don't you?
Posts: 78,176
Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:58 PM   #12
Pitt Gorilla Pitt Gorilla is online now
Banned!
 
Pitt Gorilla's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: NOT Columbia, MO 65201
Casino cash: $13396
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaCenterJunkie View Post
Interesting that they are putting these Astronauts at risk for this mission.
Astronaut lives are typically at risk.
__________________

That rabbit is crazy; I'm Brian Waters!

Kotter: "You are lucky I'm truly not the vindictive or psycho type...I'd be careful from now on, and I'd just back the hell off if I were you....otherwise, the Mizzou "extension office" life might get exciting"

Kotter: "You're just gay. G-A-Y. Gay."
Posts: 22,190
Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.Pitt Gorilla has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
Buck Buck is offline
Take a Chill Pill
 
Buck's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Casino cash: $4162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Gorilla View Post
Astronaut lives are typically at risk.
It sounds like they are going to have to fly through a floating debris field.

One small ding in the wrong place of one of those space shuttles could mean certain doom upon re-entry.
Posts: 42,321
Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.Buck is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
Besides, big day tomorrow
 
Iowanian's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Utopia
Casino cash: $15237
They should add a garage bay to the ISS and haul in the big dawg satellites for repairs.
Posts: 51,031
Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.Iowanian is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 04:01 PM   #15
Fish Fish is offline
Missing Dick Curl
 
Fish's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2005
Casino cash: $11134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaCenterJunkie View Post
Interesting that they are putting these Astronauts at risk for this mission.
Many endeavors such as this are well worth the risk in the eyes of an astronaut. I'd gladly accept the risk simply for the chance to leave Earth's atmosphere...
__________________
Posts: 26,218
Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.Fish is obviously part of the inner Circle.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:42 PM.


This is a test for a client's site.
A new website that shows member-created construction site listings that need fill or have excess fill. Dirt Monkey @ https://DirtMonkey.net
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.