NASA and SpaceX explore feasibility of pushing the stalled Hubble Space Telescope into higher Earth orbit

Last week, NASA and SpaceX approved an unfunded study to explore the feasibility of augmentation Hubble Space Telescope, Who is in danger of falling out of orbit in the next decade, into a higher orbit.

SpaceX is approaching NASA Earlier this year about the possibility of using one of its Dragon spacecraft to move the telescope to a higher altitude, NASA scientist Thomas Zurbuchen said at a press conference Thursday.

The Hubble Telescope was launched into orbit in 1990, and the last time astronauts performed maintenance and repair was in 2009 at an altitude of 350 miles. In the past 13 years, it’s fallen about 20 miles, according to the New York Times.

Although he signed a Space Law Agreement with SpaceX on September 22 for a six-month project, Zurbuchen added, “I want to be absolutely clear, we’re not announcing today that we will definitely go ahead with a plan like this.”

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An astronaut aboard the space shuttle Atlantis captured this image from the Hubble Space Telescope on May 19, 2009.
(NASA)

Any attempt to reposition the telescope will be privately funded at no cost to the government. NASA said:He added that the study was not exclusive and would welcome offers from other space companies.

NASA said moving the telescope to a higher orbit could give Hubble more years.

“What we want to do is push the boundaries of current technology,” said Jessica Jensen of SpaceX, Vice President of Customer Relations and Integration. “We want to show how we can use both commercial and public-private partnerships to creatively solve difficult and complex problems like the Hubble service.”

She said SpaceX is exploring the capabilities of the Dragon capsule to see how it should be modified to meet safely with Hubble.

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This series of images made available by NASA shows the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope

This series of images made available by NASA shows the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope
(NASA via AP)

The Times reports that without moving, NASA will eventually have to destroy and aim the telescope when it falls into the ocean from orbit.

Any potential mission would be a collaboration between SpaceX and billionaire Jared Isaacman, Polaris, planned Spaceflight series with SpaceX, One of them, Ishaqan said, will include the first civilian spacewalks.

Last year, Isaacman commanded Inspiration4, SpaceX’s first fully manned mission.

M74 shines brightly in this infrared/medium infrared composite image, which includes data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.  This image has incredible depth thanks to Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the web's powerful mid-infrared (MIRI) instrument that captures a range of wavelengths.

M74 shines brightly in this infrared/medium infrared composite image, which includes data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. This image has incredible depth thanks to Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the web’s powerful mid-infrared (MIRI) instrument that captures a range of wavelengths.
(ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-JWST team; ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar Acknowledgment: J. Schmidt)

Over the years, the Hubble telescope has taken amazing pictures and videos of the universe, including the discovery of moons around Pluto.

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The telescope is named after the pioneering American astronomer of the 20th century, Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), who, among other things, found evidence of other galaxies outside the Milky Way.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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