Who will rescue Hubble Space Telescope from certain death?
- The Hubble Space Telescope needs rescuing or else it will die a fiery death in the Earth's atmosphere and end up in the Pacific Ocean.
The iconic Hubble Space Telescope has been throwing mind-moggling revelations into the world of astronomers and educating everyone about what inhabits deep space and even looks back into time to show what our primmitive universe was like. Now, with age catching up, is it time for the Hubble Telescope to die?
Not if two private companies have anything to do with it. They are a-raring to go and rescue the leviathan up there in the sky. Thankfully, it is in Earth orbit unlike its heir, the James Webb Space Telescope which is a million miles from Earth, in Sun orbit.
Launched in 1990, Hubble is well past its prime and its computers keep crashing. But it is still providing amazing data.
However, it is gradually being pulled back towards Earth by around 2030 it will be all over for it. In short, it will meet a fiery fate unless someone steps up and boosts the telescope back into a safer orbit.
While SpaceX's famous CEO Elon Musk wants to help and everyone knows about, there are a couple of smaller unknown companies that are already working on the technology - a robot. The idea is for the robot to grab the telescope amd boost it at least a 100 km higher in Earth's orbit. The companies are Astroscale, Momentus.
Notably, it has already cost the NASA/ESA over $15 billion to run the telescope and the question is, is it worth saving, especially with the James Webb Telescope already successfully working.
The answer to that is a yes for a number of reasons, not least of which is that two eyes in the sky are always better than one. Considering that James Webb Telescope was damaged by a small asteroid early in its flight, the chances of another mishap cannot be ruled out.
Also, space is wide and even these 2 telescopes cannot cover it all.
Now, it all comes down to who is willing to spend the money, millions of dollars, to further the interests of science. SpaceX has the money, while Astroscale and Momentus are young companies with the enthusiasm to match, but the money may well be tight.
Public-private partnership? The ball is in NASA's court.
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