Friday, April 29, 2005

NASA: Hubble servicing back on - now I'm dizzy

Following e-mail flashed around this afternoon:

...earlier this afternoon Michael
Griffin held a news conference. The main item was the delay in
launching the shuttle until July, but he was asked about Hubble and
replied that he had directed Goddard to prepare for SM4. In other
words, shuttle servicing of HST is now the default, pending the outcome
of shuttle flights, obviously.

Wow! What? How?

This is potentially very nice, though the HOP advocates will be disappointed.
It also makes sense, in so far as a HST servicing flight is not actually any riskier than an ISS rendezvous flight, and the marginal cost of having a rescue shuttle on the pad as contingency is low.

But... using what money? If CEV is being accelerated, and HST SM4 is back on, then by my calculation it leaves more or less exactly no money to do anything else... Congress authorization act passed yesterday does not expand the science and space line enough to do this. So if it is earmarked in, then real money has to come along with it (I am realizing that I probably used "authorize" and "appropriate" exactly the wrong way around a few blog entries earlier).

Now, what was it we wished for again...?
(Yeah, I know, no pleasing some people)


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