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Study critical of robotic Hubble repair
Posted: Tue, Dec 7, 2004, 8:20 AM ET (1320 GMT)
Hubble Space Telescope (NASA) An independent study of alternatives to repairing the Hubble Space Telescope is expected to conclude that a NASA initiative to develop a robotic repair mission may be too expensive and risky than simply launching a replacement telescope. The "Analysis of Alternatives" report by the Aerospace Commission, to be submitted to NASA this week, is expected to note that the robotic repair option, expected to cost around $2 billion, would be just as expensive as launching a replacement telescope using instruments originally planned for installation on Hubble, and would have a lower chance of success than the replacement telescope. Reviving a shuttle repair mission — an option rejected by NASA early this year because of safety concerns — also scored higher than the robotic option. NASA officials remains optimistic about the robotic repair options, believing that such a mission can be accomplished for considerably less than current estimates while also developing technology that can be used on future missions. A separate review of Hubble servicing mission options, performed by the National Academies, is scheduled to be publicly released Wednesday.
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