Hubble Trubble

It's been fourteen years of unimaginably high highs, and seriously low lows. And the adventure continues. Who is happy this week about the White House's decision, first reported on Space.com last week, and picked up by media outlets around the globe (from Australia to South Africa, to India to Russia and beyond, -- which suggests Hubble may be America's telescope to abandon, but while it lives, it belongs to the world), to eliminate from the '06 budget funding for a fifth save-our-Hubble service mission -- human, robotic or other -- and finally dump HST into the ocean?

Of course not
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the space telescope's biggest Congressional guardian angel and cheerleader from the land of NASA Goddard, and her counterpart in the House, Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Also pissed off are plenty of astronomers, educators and space enthusiasts everywhere, all awaiting the new budget, to be released on Feb 7. Meanwhile, Bruce Margon, associate director for science at the Space Telescope Science Institute, commented to
New Scientist, "If they have already decided they are not going to touch Hubble, why aren't they sending stop-work orders to those contractors?"

Some say Hubble's loss is Mars' gain. But recall
Rand Simberg's view that, "[w]hile its critics are lambasting the agency for sacrificing Hubble on the altar of the new space policy, the new policy in fact would actually justify a Hubble mission." (via Terrestrial Musings)

It may not be easy being Hubble. But in the end, it's always been worth it.

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