JUN 27, 2016 7:41 AM PDT

NASA Extends the Scientific Operations of Hubble for Another 5 Years

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA just can’t seem to let the old and reliable Hubble Space Telescope go.
 

Old reliable is set to stay in service for the sake of science for another 5 years.

 Image Credit: NASA

The United States-based space agency recently announced that it would continue scientific Hubble Space Telescope operations for another five years, through to June 30, 2021. The extension of the contract is expected to cost the space agency about $196.3 million, which raises the total cost of the Hubble contract to $2.03 billion.
 
This announcement is good news for astronomy-lovers because now there will still be a way to observe the unknowns of outer space overlapping the launch of Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, in 2018.
 
Hubble is old; it was launched in 1996 and has thus far provided the world with some of the best images of distance spatial bodies that it wouldn’t be possible to observe from Earth’s surface because of our atmosphere.
 
On the other hand, it has also been one of the most reliable forms of seeing the great beyond.
 
NASA notes that Hubble was last serviced in 2009 by a space shuttle program mission, and since that servicing, Hubble has been working impressively without any problems. This plays a big role in NASA’s decision.
 
Unfortunately, because there are no more space shuttle missions, Hubble will degrade over time and nothing is going to be done to service it.  
 
Attention will, instead, be focused on the James Webb Space Telescope when it goes into space. NASA calls it the “premier observatory of the next decade.”
 
The heart of the upgraded telescope was finished last year and put through cryogenic testing to ensure it could handle the rough environment in space. Afterwards, engineers finished piecing together the space telescope’s primary mirror, which dwarfs Hubble’s, measuring at 21.3 feet across.
 
The larger telescope, when finally in service, will be able to see more clearly, and more distant, than the current Hubble Space Telescope.
 
Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How it Rain Diamonds on Neptune
JUN 30, 2020
How it Rain Diamonds on Neptune
For some time, scientists have hypothesized that it may be raining diamonds deep inside Neptune and Uranus. They have no ...
JUL 25, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Mammalian Cells May Have Trouble Fighting Space Bugs
JUL 25, 2020
Mammalian Cells May Have Trouble Fighting Space Bugs
New research has suggested that humans and other terrestrial mammals might have trouble identifying and responding to mi ...
JUL 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
JUL 31, 2020
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
It’s commonly said that roughly half of all missions to Mars have succeeded- while roughly half have failed. But a ...
SEP 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
SEP 25, 2020
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
Physicists believe that our observable universe exists in a mirrored configuration: any fundamental particle such as pro ...
NOV 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Never-Found-Before Molecule Detected in Titan's Atmosphere
NOV 02, 2020
Never-Found-Before Molecule Detected in Titan's Atmosphere
Astronomers have detected Cyclopropenylidene (C3H2) on Titan, one of Saturn's 53 confirmed moons. While the molecule ...
NOV 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Observe the Birth of a Magnetar
NOV 13, 2020
Researchers Observe the Birth of a Magnetar
Scientists think they have witnessed the birth of a magnetar for the first time, when a massive burst of gamma rays took ...
Loading Comments...