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Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Letter Report

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Following the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and subsequent to the report of the board created to investigate the accident, NASA, citing safety reasons, decided to limit shuttle flights to International Space Station missions and to investigate other options for extending Hubble’s life. Congressional concern over this decision prompted it to ask for an independent assessment. In response the chair of the investigative board called for a study of the risks and benefits of using the shuttle for the servicing mission, and NASA subsequently asked the NRC for this study. This letter report presents preliminary findings and recommendations of that study. It urges NASA to commit to a servicing mission, notes that a proposed robotic mission would be quite complex and require significant development, and states that NASA should not preclude a shuttle servicing mission at this time. A final report will be released this fall.

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National Research Council. 2004. Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11051.

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10 pages | 8.5 x 11
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/11051
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