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Griffin promises to revisit Hubble decision
Posted: Wed, Apr 13, 2005, 8:59 AM ET (1259 GMT)
Michael Griffin (JHUAPL) Michael Griffin, the president's nominee to become the next NASA administrator, told senators Tuesday that he will revisit a decision to cancel a shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope once the shuttle returns to flight. Griffin, speaking during a confirmation hearing held by the Senate Commerce Committee, said that he considered the shuttle essentially a new spacecraft in the wake of the upgrades made after the Columbia accident, which warranted taking another look at the January 2004 decision to cancel the servicing mission once the agency has had a chance to digest the lessons learned from the first post-Columbia mission, scheduled for launch in mid-May. Griffin said that a robotic servicing mission was "off the place" because it would be too technologically challenging to complete in time. Griffin said the shuttle return to flight would be his top priority, followed by examining ways to speed up the development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle. Griffin was widely praised by senators at the hearing, some of whom sought to expedite his nomination. A planned vote by the committee Tuesday afternoon, however, was postponed at the request of Sen. George Allen (R-VA), who sought more detailed answers from Griffin about NASA's aeronautics programs.
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