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Astronomy Buffs, Hubble is about to get even better!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
The long-awaited service mission wherein Hubble's main imaging unit will be replaced with an instrument capable of peering into the universe with 10x the efficiency that it currently can, will be completed over the next few days. To get the details on this second leg of the SM3 servicing missions, check out this link

<a href="http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-critical/objectives-part2.html" target="_blank">http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-critical/objectives-part2.html</a>

and this one, to see what was done a few months ago as a precursor.

<a href="http://sm3a.gsfc.nasa.gov/current_status.html" target="_blank">http://sm3a.gsfc.nasa.gov/current_status.html</a>


I expect that within a year, we're going to see some more Discovery specials and scienctific books published, that provide even more astonishing astro-photography than we've seen in the past. Not only that, but my understanding is that the photographs will no longer be hampered by the "missing corner" effect that most images up to this point have suffered from (because part of the old camera system was inoperative from the get-go and was unable to be replaced until now.

Did someone say "wOOT?!"

[ 03-02-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #2 of 29
this is gonna be sweet. i wish i could get a hold of that thing--its so incredible. apparently it was sposed to be EOLed already, but since it was so successful, they decided to keep it around fer a few more years. my astronomy profs gonna use it again in a few months--i wonder if he'd let me take a crack at it.

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post #3 of 29
Should be cool. I'd keep an eye out for more black hole news. Also more/better measurements about planets.
post #4 of 29
10x!? Damn.

More pretty pictures. More baffling discoveries.

Good news.

Data about planets should be especially interesting, now that scientists are beginning to realize that they're pretty common things.
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post #5 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Amorph:
<strong>10x!? Damn.

More pretty pictures. More baffling discoveries.

Good news.

Data about planets should be especially interesting, now that scientists are beginning to realize that they're pretty common things.</strong><hr></blockquote>

"10x the efficiency" I didn't read the page but I gather that the light collection is 10x more efficient now not that the magnification is 10x better. I'll go read it now.
post #6 of 29
Here, according to the first link in the thread:

[quote]ACS possesses a wide field of view, superb image quality and sensitivity in visible to far ultraviolet wavelengths [...] more than twice the field of view and nearly five times the resolution of the camera it replaces<hr></blockquote>

:cool:

[ 03-02-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
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post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by _ alliance _:
<strong>this is gonna be sweet. i wish i could get a hold of that thing--its so incredible. apparently it was sposed to be EOLed already, but since it was so successful, they decided to keep it around fer a few more years. my astronomy profs gonna use it again in a few months--i wonder if he'd let me take a crack at it. </strong><hr></blockquote>


That would be the chance of a lifetime man...I am seriously envious. Even more envious of those who have the mathematical / abstraction abilities of the typical astronomer. Cool stuff. I'd LOVE to do that for a living, unfortunately the ole noodle is not up to scratch.

As for Hubble's EOL, I think it is scheduled to be in service up until about 2010, when the NGT -- which will have even more amazing imaging capabilities -- will arrive in service (hopefully). Never know with Congress; one minute these a-holes are all gung-ho and using it to boost their campaign image, the next minute, spending billions on NASA research is "wasteful."
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post #8 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>

As for Hubble's EOL, I think it is scheduled to be in service up until about 2010, when the NGT -- which will have even more amazing imaging capabilities -- will arrive in service (hopefully). Never know with Congress; one minute these a-holes are all gung-ho and using it to boost their campaign image, the next minute, spending billions on NASA research is "wasteful."</strong><hr></blockquote>

i dont remember the exact year, but my prof said that it was sposed to only last a certain amount of time, but decided to extent the life for 5 years. so...i assume that the original target was 2005, extended to 2010.
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post #9 of 29
Is there still a chance of them scrubbing the mission? I thought there was a malfunction that might make them have to return to Earth.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
There was some kind of minor malfunction on the shuttle Fran, but they decided to continue with the mission yesterday. In fact, sometime this morning they met up with the HST, got the old mechanical arm out, and brough it "on board." Let the upgrades begin!
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post #11 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>There was some kind of minor malfunction on the shuttle Fran, but they decided to continue with the mission yesterday. In fact, sometime this morning they met up with the HST, got the old mechanical arm out, and brough it "on board." Let the upgrades begin!</strong><hr></blockquote>

good news. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
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post #12 of 29
In terms of "bang for the buck," the HST has to be one of the best deals ever. Now if only they could get the ISS to start putting out some whiz-bang results, maybe people would shut up about it costing so much. Throughout most of our history, the big technological advances have come due to wars - we would only get motivated to develop great new things when the existence of the nation was at risk. The space program is an opportunity to advance technology without a war - so everyone bitches about it costing too much. *sigh*
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post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
*bump*

In addition to new solar arrays and power management systems over the last couple days, HST now has a new eye into the universe - the afore-mentioned ACS. Soon my friends, soon...I'm looking forward to some sweet web images over the next few weeks!

<a href="http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/latest.html" target="_blank">http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/latest.html</a>

[ 03-07-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #14 of 29
Sigh of Relief

They did it! This "upgrade" was a daunting task. The HST wasn't designed for upgrades but the engineers and astronauts did it.

Props to NASA. They sometimes are criticized on occasion but this is where they shine.

&lt;conspiracy theory&gt;You think they might have added other devises that watch us too?&lt;/conspiracy theory&gt;

Ooop. They aren't finished yet. Another space walk on Friday...coool pic...



[ 03-07-2002: Message edited by: Artman @_@ ]</p>
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post #15 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Artman @_@:
<strong>
&lt;conspiracy theory&gt;You think they might have added other devises that watch us too?&lt;/conspiracy theory&gt;</strong><hr></blockquote>

Oh, don't be ridiculous.

(By the way: Your fly is down.)
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post #16 of 29
The CIA has a bunch of "Hubbles" looking down. Space Imaging (or whatever their name) has one too.
post #17 of 29
Now all they gotta do is point it at the sea of tranquility and prove we really went to the moon.
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post #18 of 29
One word

Photoshop
post #19 of 29
Capricorn 1
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post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Done!

<a href="http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/chronicles-latest.html" target="_blank">http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/chronicles-latest.html</a>

And btw, Hubble most definitely WAS designed to be upgradeable - hence the reaosn all of Hubble's original imaging instrumens are now history (the FOC was the last of them, replaced by the ACS we've talked about). Had the HST not been designed to be updated as new technologies emerged, it would've been out of service by now.
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post #21 of 29
Astronauts = :cool:
post #22 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>Done!

<a href="http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/chronicles-latest.html" target="_blank">http://sm3b.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission-updates/chronicles-latest.html</a>

And btw, Hubble most definitely WAS designed to be upgradeable - hence the reaosn all of Hubble's original imaging instrumens are now history (the FOC was the last of them, replaced by the ACS we've talked about). Had the HST not been designed to be updated as new technologies emerged, it would've been out of service by now.</strong><hr></blockquote>

but like i said before, its sposed to be out of service by now. since it was such a success they decided to try to keep it around longer. it wasnt originally intended to last this long, and thus it wasnt intended to be ugradeable. maybe they allowed for it to be upgradeable in the basic designs, but it wasnt intended to be built for that purpose.
they basically are just trying to salvage the shell of the most successful telescope ever built. why start over when u have such an instrument already at yer disposal now?
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post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by _ alliance _:
<strong> since it was such a success they decided to try to keep it around longer. it wasnt originally intended to last this long, and thus it wasnt intended to be ugradeable. </strong><hr></blockquote>


Errr...not to be argumentative, but you're wrong there. From the outset it was designed to use modular imaging and data management instrumentation, so that when said instruments became obsolete, they could simply be removed and replaced with newer technologies by a Space Shuttle crew. If you read the astronaut comments that I linked to, you'll get a feel for this.

But my reason for knowing is because there are several books I have which detail the same - the modularity, etc. This is all by design. They've known for some time about this current mission, and for some time that 2010 was the projected shut-down date, and start of the NGT project. NASA has had it all figured out for quite a while.

[ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #24 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>


Errr...not to be argumentative, but you're wrong there. From the outset it was designed to use modular imaging and data management instrumentation, so that when said instruments became obsolete, they could simply be removed and replaced with newer technologies by a Space Shuttle crew. If you read the astronaut comments that I linked to, you'll get a feel for this.

But my reason for knowing is because there are several books I have which detail the same - the modularity, etc. This is all by design. They've known for some time about this current mission, and for some time that 2010 was the projected shut-down date, and start of the NGT project. NASA has had it all figured out for quite a while.

[ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

my professor, who works for NASA and actually uses the hubble, said that its original termination date has already come and passed. the original life expectancy wasnt 2010. yes, maybe thats been the date for sometime, but as i said, the ORIGINAL date has already passed. read my posts carefully. sometimes, little words can mean something, so dont skip over them.
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post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hmm. Well, I don't want to argue with an astronomy prof who uses Hubble. I guess perhaps back in the mid-90's they revised the timeline for Hubble's EOL. But at a minimum it was designed to take new instrumentation as it became available. But as you say that doesn't preclude a revised EOL timeline from some point in the past.

I'm just excited to see some new images. Gonna be great! Hey, if I give your prof a particular galaxy to shoot, think he'd download a snapshot for me?



JK of course, but it's a nice thought.
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post #26 of 29
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>
I'm just excited to see some new images. Gonna be great! Hey, if I give your prof a particular galaxy to shoot, think he'd download a snapshot for me?



JK of course, but it's a nice thought.</strong><hr></blockquote>


haha, yeah i wish that was the case. as it is, i dont know how limited he is--being that hes gonna be working w/ one of the most incredible pieces of technology in existence. but thats not gonna stop me from tryin to get him to let me in on the action. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
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post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
With the wider field of view and greatle enhanced resolution, I can imagine some fairly dumbfounding images of galaxy clusters, nebulae and the like. No longer will all the galaxies appear to be indistinct, glowing masses on the page - we should be able to make out distinct aspects of each galaxy (shape, color, density, etc.), even if there are dozens of them in a single photo. It's going to be awesome.
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post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
So how tiny / insignificant does this make US then....?


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post #29 of 29
Heh that looks like the little fighter from EV.
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