December 8, 2004
Running Time: 00:52:40
To ensure continuation of the extraordinary scientific output of the Hubble Space Telescope and to prepare for its eventual de-orbiting, NASA should repair it using a space shuttle mission, not a robotic one, says a report from the National Academies' National Research Council. The agency should consider launching the manned mission as early as possible after the space shuttle is deemed safe to fly again, because some of the telescope's components could degrade to the point where it would no longer be usable for science.
Louis J. Lanzerotti, Distinguished Research Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, and Consultant, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, N.J.