May 2, 2008

Hubble Mission Delayed

On Thursday, NASA said that the date of the shuttle mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope will be pushed back four to five weeks. Hubble telescope revolutionized the modern astronomy after it's launch in 1990. Now, it needs some repairing.

"Right now Hubble's mission is scheduled for August 28; we really cannot make that date with the external tank processing," shuttle program manager John Shannon explained at a press conference on Thursday.

Hubble is orbiting at 600 kilometers and the shuttle's mission to Hubble is highly unusual. In case of a major problem with the Hubble mission the shuttle and its crew of seven cannot head to dock at the International Space Station (ISS). So a second shuttle needs to be at the ready, to be launched in case of emergency. To do that two external tanks have to be prepared at the same time, which makes production a bigger challenge and takes longer time.


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