Thu, Aug 12, 2004
NASA Has A Plan...
NASA has selected a Canadian-made robot for an unmanned mission
to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Administrator
Sean O'Keefe told his engineers to get cracking on a mission to
keep the telescope from going dark sometime in 2007.
"Everybody says, 'We want to save the Hubble' -- well, let's go
save the Hubble," O'Keefe said in a story published by the Orlando
Sentinel. "Rather than just sitting there and talking about how we
think we're going to do it, we've got an option we're ready to go
Controversy flared over the space telescope earlier this year
when O'Keefe scrubbed a planned shuttle mission to service Hubble.
Scientists and astronomers use the telescope to peer back toward
the beginnings of our universe and were outraged at the decision.
Now, their anger has turned to optimism. Hubble won't go down
without a fight.
NASA workers at the Goddard Space Center picked
the Canadian robot from three different designs aimed at automating
a rescue mission. The Canadian Space Agency's Special
Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, or Dextre (above), was originally
designed to service the International Space Station.
Using two robotic arms, Dextre can open panels, inspect gyros
and change batteries.
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