Workaholic Hubble Telescope Will Eventually Burn To Death: Report
The Hubble Space Telescope viewed by the STS-125 shuttle repair crew in 2009. Credit: NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope has delivered an amazing near quarter-century of science from all over the universe. Even this year, it’s delivered results to think about: the shrinking Great Red Spot on Jupiter (see picture below), helping New Horizons hunt for flyby targets after Pluto, and enhancing our view of deep space.
But that didn’t come cheap. Four astronaut servicing missions (including one to fix a mirror that was launched with myopia) were required to keep the telescope going since 1990. Hubble has never been more scientifically productive, according to a recent NASA review, but a new article asks if Hubble is destined to die a fiery death when its orbit decays in the next eight to 10 years.
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