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18.4.14 0821
The W - Current Events & Politics - Hubble Rescue mission axed?
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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6853009

Here's my question... from where the Hubble is orbiting right now, is there any chance we could park it on the moon so that we could go get it later if we wanted to?



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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
It's got little if any juice of its own. We've been using the shuttle for years so it doesn't slip out of orbit and burn up.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I realize that. We are going up to attach rockets to it to bring it down in the Pacific, if I read the article correctly. I'm just wondering if we could move it to lunar orbit or park it on the moon instead. I have no idea what this would take, but with the cost of sending items into space it might make sense to leave it somewhere out of the way until someone gets around to fixing it later.



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Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
I think the Moon would be too far away to attempt to send the hubble there. Also it would take serious propulsion to get it that far.



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Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
There's also the matter of the Van Allen Radiation Belts...

According to our friends at Wikipedia:


    The Van Allen Belt's Impact on Space Travel

    Solar cells, integrated circuits, and sensors can be damaged by radiation. In 1962, the Van Allen belts were temporarily amplified by a high-altitude nuclear explosion and several satellites ceased operation. Magnetic storms occasionally damage electronic components on spacecraft. Miniaturization and digitization of electronics and logic circuits have made satellites more vulnerable to radiation, as incoming ions may be as large as the circuit's charge. The Hubble Space Telescope, among other satellites, often has its sensors turned off when passing through regions of intense radiation.

    A object satellite shielded by 3 mm of aluminum will receive about 2500 rem (25 Sv) per year.

    Conspiracy theorists have argued that space travel to the moon is impossible because the Van Allen radiation would kill or incapacitate an astronaut who made the trip. In practice, even at the peak of the belts, one could live for several months without receiving a lethal dose, and launch sites and paths are chosen not to pass through said peak. Astronauts traveling to the moon probably have an increased lifetime risk of cancer, but would be expected not to (and did not) have noticeable illness.



It's not clear there whether Hubble could survive if it was powered right down, but evidently if it's not already shielded to deal with such high radiation levels, it would have to be powered down and/or parked inside another spacecraft for the journey.



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Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
Well, the Hubble IS shielded for those radiation levels, it has to contend with some direct radiation from the sun on occasion. It does have a shut-down mode where the lenses and the key components are protected in cases of extreme solar activity.

I can't corroborate it online, but I have heard some discussions about the Van-Allen Belt Radiation controversy - and it just seemed like a bunch of conspiracy theory hoo-ha from people wanting to prove that we didn't go to the moon. This is just my opinion, though.

As to parking Hubble in lunar orbit - we would still have to send a mission up to the telescope to accomplish that, and the mission itself seems to be NASA's main issue. Hubble itself does not actually have any maneuvering thrusters - it can perform minor orientation maneuvers with a series of gyroscopes, but it can't really change it's orbit significantly on its own.

I guess if it doesn't go to ISS, they don't want to do it. I think that is sad. Normally I am for limited government spending, but on occasion, I think that "National Pride" is a good enough reason to do something. And I think Hubble is something that belongs in a museum, and is very much worth saving.




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