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Atlantis Links Up To Hubble For Repairs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-baby-I-see-the-stars-in-your-eyes dept.

NASA 132

An anonymous reader writes "Space Shuttle Atlantis has finally caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope after following it for several hours. The 'link up' between the Space Shuttle and Hubble was a very delicate one as the two were flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface. The robotic arm of the shuttle grappled the telescope at 1:14 PM EDT today. The telescope will be latched to a high-tech Lazy Susan device known as the Flight Support System for the duration of the servicing work."

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The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (2, Funny)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943831)

What about the supplies?

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943893)

Um...the Shuttle's Astronauts are repairing the Hubble.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (5, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943931)

If Slashdot allowed image posting, this is where I'd post that picture from "UHF" where all the Asian dudes come out of the closet and yell "SUPPLIES!"

But I can't do that, so the point is probably moo.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27943983)

I can't do that, so the point is probably moo.

t

Hi, you dropped this while typing your post. I thought you might want it back.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944145)

Joey from "Friends" would like to disagree with that.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944801)

Exactly what I was going for. Thank you.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944981)

Joey: Because if he doesn't like you, this is all a moo point.
Rachel: Huh. A moo point?
Joey: Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945201)

Congratulations on starting a new internet meme: THE POINT IS MOO!

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945459)

If slashdot allowed image posting, we'd all be blind from unrelenting exposure to goatse.

Re:The Hubble can repair the Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27946423)

You've just started a new internet meme! The point is moo!

ILzy Susan? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943847)

Is that like an epileptic version of a lazy susan? I don't even know how you make a typo like that without having some sort of seizure.

Re:ILzy Susan? (1)

Timberfox (1537013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944061)

Its actualy a LOLz Susan

Re:ILzy Susan? (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944243)

LOL! I was thinking the same thing.

Personally, I prefer the Lazy Bob [mybobs.com] .

Re:ILzy Susan? (4, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944481)

I just assumed it was another Apple product. iLzy Susan.

Re:ILzy Susan? (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945081)

Don't you mean a dyslexic version?

Re:ILzy Susan? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945441)

The letter I is nowhere in "lazy susan". I was envisioning someone having some sort of involuntary spasm while trying to type the word.

Re:ILzy Susan? (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945467)

Mabye Suasn's a ILzy dylsexic eplipetic.

ILZY Susan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27943873)

Do you mean "Lazy Susan"?

How about Relative Speed? (5, Insightful)

smallshot (1202439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943907)

Why do these articles always tell us how difficult it was to do something in space because they are going so ridiculously fast? When taken relatively, they were practically sitting still while docking.

I know there are all kinds of other factors and I know it takes a lot of math to even get to the right orbit at the right time and speed to even see the Hubble, but after that, it ought to be relatively simple considering the lack of any unwanted or unexpected force on the crafts. I'm pretty sure it's much more difficult to land a jet on an air craft carrier, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944199)

I know there are all kinds of other factors and I know it takes a lot of math to even get to the right orbit at the right time and speed to even see the Hubble, but after that, it ought to be relatively simple considering the lack of any unwanted or unexpected force on the crafts. I'm pretty sure it's much more difficult to land a jet on an air craft carrier, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Exactly right, we've been doing it for overy forty years -

Apollo 13 CSM Seperation (sic) and Docking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSOuFzSNDmk [youtube.com]

Re:How about Relative Speed? (3, Funny)

sveard (1076275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944713)

we can even land on asteroids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbFVPDhlIBQ [youtube.com]

(use footage from nasa's archives, not movies!)

Re:How about Relative Speed? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945199)

Not only that but the Apollo crews were able to dock the LM ascent stage and CSM in lunar orbit without any help from Earth at all. I believe this was done many times in simulation. Available instruments would have been VHF voice communication, VHF ranging, the strobe light on the LM and the rule-of-thumb tricks from Buzz Aldrin's masters thesis.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (3, Funny)

ITJC68 (1370229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944527)

It would have been more challenging if they were going in separate directions and tried to link up. That would have been worth seeing.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (5, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944641)

I can't understand it either, as I sit here, very carefully typing, going 17,880 MPH around the Sun.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (2, Funny)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945769)

I can't understand it either, as I sit here, very carefully typing, going 17,880 MPH around the Sun.

I find it very amusing that such an orbital speed would put you somewhere in the neighborhood of Uranus.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944827)

I know there are all kinds of other factors and I know it takes a lot of math to even get to the right orbit at the right time and speed to even see the Hubble, but after that, it ought to be relatively simple considering the lack of any unwanted or unexpected force on the crafts. I'm pretty sure it's much more difficult to land a jet on an air craft carrier, but I wouldn't know for sure.

If I remember my orbital mechanics, it's actually quite tricky. First, let's eliminate the orbital plane, and assume we're just orbiting in the same plane as some other object flying around.

Firstly, the only way to match altitudes is with speeds - the faster you go, the higher up you go. Ah, but then you must make your speed adjustment at the right time - if you don't meet up at altitude, you and the object will be orbiting at the same speed and will never catch each other. You could speed up some, but then you'll go into a higher orbit, or slow down some and go into a lower orbit. Thrusters help for minor speed and altitude/attitude corrections.

Secondly, you must do this within a resource budget - gas (for thrusters), oxygen (for crew), power, which means you must do it within a few orbits. You can't endlessly orbit.

Now remove the planar restriction...

Try it yourself (4, Informative)

mmontour (2208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945115)

There's a free (beer) spaceflight simulator available at http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/orbit.html [ucl.ac.uk] that lets you try these sorts of approaches.

Not an issue at these time scales. (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945323)

"Firstly, the only way to match altitudes is with speeds - the faster you go, the higher up you go. ..."

That's only an issue if your drift time between velocity adjustments is an appreciable fraction of a quarter-orbit. For significantly shorter times the orbital mechanics of the goofy accelerated reference frame is no big deal.

This was delicate because the instrument they're linking up with is massive and fragile. No hard bumps during grabbing or thruster exhaust spraying the device is acceptable.

Re:Not an issue at these time scales. (2, Interesting)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27946227)

This was delicate because the instrument they're linking up with is massive and fragile. No hard bumps during grabbing or thruster exhaust spraying the device is acceptable.

Exactly.

Here's a simple question for those who say this is easy to work out:

You have an orbiter with a mass of 80,000kg drifting towards a telescope with a mass of 11,000kg in an essentially frictionless environment, just like your physics teachers used to say and love. They are directly approaching each other at 10 millimeters per second and collide at that speed whilst the orbiter is attempting to grapple the telescope.

Assuming an inflexible contact point via the orbiter's arm and a 100 x 100mm contact point on the telescope that deforms a total of 10 millimeters in the one second it takes for the two to come together (and stay together - assume that the orbiter has gripped the telescope), calculate the contact force applied to the telescope in Newtons and deceleration of the telescope in mm/sec over the 1 second period as the two meet. For simplicity, also assume that their centre of mass is in line with their relative velocities, to avoid any tumbling effects.

Quick mental calculations tell me the forces would be large (bend-your-telescope type large) and the deceleration, whilst minor, would not be good for sensitive instruments and gyros aboard the telescope.

Re:How about Relative Speed? (2, Funny)

Trevorm7 (1082535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945641)

I'm pretty sure it's much more difficult to land a jet on an air craft carrier, but I wouldn't know for sure.

I would! TOP GUN - by the Angry Nintendo Nerd [youtube.com] Start at 2:10

Lulzy Susan? (0, Flamebait)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943923)

This calls for trolling.

Re:Lulzy Susan? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27943973)

OK then. [nimp.org]

Re:Lulzy Susan? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944107)

*sigh*....Rickrolls are so old. Why not just use the real Goatse?

17,000 mph (3, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943943)

Do people just look for big numbers to sound impressive??

The important number is the relative speed between Hubble and the shuttle. From my very precise calculation it was zero.

Re:17,000 mph (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944135)

Your precise calculation is off. If they moved at 0mph the linkup would occur, oh i'd say, never.

*queue smartass replies with inches per hour in scientific notation*

Re:17,000 mph (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944281)

Ah, no, the Shuttle actually did have to accelerate to 17000 mph from when it took off until it docked, with precise positioning. It's by no means easy, only a few nations are capable of it. I thought the X-Prize was pretty cool, but for that matter, they never even reach orbit.

Re:17,000 mph (1)

sinewalker (686056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945859)

I agree, it is actually impressive.

I find 17,200mph (27,680km/h) rather difficult to imagine though (I'm not disputing the figure, I just can't imagine how fast that is). So I converted it to every-day units I can think in (metres per second). This figure I can sort-of imagine: 17,200 miles per hour = about 7,739m/s (or about 4 3/4 miles per second for Americans), relative to the launch pad.

Yes, relative speed between Hubble and Atlantis during grappling was probably under one metre/sec. But it was still very impressive to match those two objects up on the orbitals at ground control!

Re:17,000 mph (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945779)

What impresses me is the connection of a sunken city lost in the ages to a modern telescope.

Relative speeds (5, Funny)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943949)

So they're going 17,200mph relative to the surface of the Earth? How fast are they going relative to some arbitrarily fixed point in the universe? Relative to another galaxy, we're hurtling towards it at some million mph, so maybe count that in as well.

I am reaching for my pop can while we travel at over 1 million miles per hour. SUCCESS! POP CAN LINKUP COMPLETE!

Re:Relative speeds (3, Informative)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943995)

"relative to some arbitrarily fixed point in the universe"

I think you just made Einstein cry.

And in a post about the importance of relative measurements, no less.

There is no such thing as a "fixed point in the universe".

Re:Relative speeds (3, Insightful)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944121)

I think you have it backwards. He understood that there is no actual fixed reference. He just meant that choosing the earth as a reference point didn't help one determine whether the linkage was difficult or not. Short answer: cut him some slack.

Delta-V, FTW!
-l

Re:Relative speeds (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945405)

I think you have it backwards. He understood that there is no actual fixed reference. He just meant that choosing the earth as a reference point didn't help one determine whether the linkage was difficult or not. Short answer: cut him some slack.

Delta-V, FTW!
-l

No slack today, sorry.

It DOES matter. The relative velocity is very important until you leave the Earth's gravity well.

Relative velocity to the center point is important if the distance to the center of the orbit is small (on a relative scale of course). For example, if they were attempting to synch up while in orbit around the Sun (but not in the Earth's field) then the velocity relative to the Sun would be rather unimportant, since both objects can adjust speed to match without much worry about falling into the Sun or breaking out of the solar system.
But in Earth's orbit, since there is such a small margin between falling to Earth and escaping altogether, you must be much more careful about any changes to speed as these will change the orbit.

Re:Relative speeds (2, Insightful)

berj (754323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944143)

No.. but one can "arbitrarily" select a fixed point as a reference.. as the parent poster stated.

"I arbitrarily choose the earth as the fixed point in the universe for all my velocity calculations."

See?

Re:Relative speeds (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944689)

No, your arbitrary choice does not make the point "fixed", even within the context of your calculation. It merely makes it a reference.

Re:Relative speeds (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945195)

It doesn't move relative to itself, therefore it is fixed.

Re:Relative speeds (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945221)

That's why reading the context is important. That little word "arbitrarily" before "fixed point" means that you just chose something to USE as a fixed point. Which is PRECISELY what relativity is.

Re:Relative speeds (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944161)

So they're going 17,200mph relative to the surface of the Earth? How fast are they going relative to some arbitrarily fixed point in the universe? Relative to another galaxy, we're hurtling towards it at some million mph, so maybe count that in as well.

So why don't you go up there and show 'em how it's done?

Re:Relative speeds (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944201)

So why don't you go up there and show 'em how it's done?

I'm too busy perfecting my pop can linkup technology. ONCE AGAIN A PERFECT LINKUP!

And no, my post in no way diminished or under-estimated the technical accomplishments of that group. It was a comment on the highlighting of the speed thing, as if the shuttle sat there with a catcher's mitt and snared the hubble flying by at 17,200mph.

And anyways, relative speeds really are a mind blowing thing. The idea that we all are sitting on a spacecraft hurtling at inconceivable speeds...it's hard for our tiny Earthling brains to really comprehend.

Re:Relative speeds (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944703)

I'm on a planet, not a spacecraft. My world is not hollow and the sky is untouchable.

Re:Relative speeds (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944811)

Ah! A reference to the original Star Trek, episode 64.

Re:Relative speeds (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944833)

I mean 63

Re:Relative speeds (3, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945695)

no you mean 64.
it's just that your arbitrary reference for 0 is what others call +1.
Cheers,
-nB

Re:Relative speeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945923)

Nice try, Melllvar. Now where are my quatloos?

Re:Relative speeds (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944393)

Occasionally we have a malfunction [inboxity.com] at that speed. Whoa! Slow down there, cowboy!

Re:Relative speeds (4, Funny)

TopSpin (753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944431)

How fast are they going relative to some arbitrarily fixed point in the universe?

I am also manipulating a soda container at 552 km/s (1.23M mph), relative to the CMB rest frame [astro.ubc.ca] . Most highly trained soda operators are capable of this.

Re:Relative speeds (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27946443)

I am reaching for my pop can while we travel at over 1 million miles per hour. SUCCESS! POP CAN LINKUP COMPLETE!

Ohhh POP, not Poop!!! I thought you just liked playing spaceships on the can.

Speed figures are meaningless (1, Redundant)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27943969)

Since it's the relative speed that's important. The speed figures are only of use for those that tracks the shuttle and the telescope.

Sometimes it's just baffling to see people goo "ooh" when someone states that they makes an extreme speed and then the people thinks that going that fast must be very dangerous.

In a way it is, but only if something crosses your path. But that's the same when you are on the ground too.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944051)

I don't know, during my flight home I had a pretty hard time getting my microUSB plug traveling at 500mph linked up to my cell phone traveling at 500mph.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (3, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944183)

You make it sound as if it was simple.

Of course, relative speed from the Shuttle to Hubbles is tiny.

But to match their relative speed from the ground is still pretty hard. Getting the shuttle from zero MPH to 17,000+MPH within inches of the Hubble so that their own relative speed nears zero for a dock is by all means, pretty neat stuff.

And for that, I go Oooh.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944301)

I once nailed a broad on the red eye out of LA. My johnson was moving at roughly 31,680,008 inches per second compared to her tawdry 31,680,000 inches per second.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944589)

Oops! I recalculated. Apparently the johnson was only moving at 31,680,001.5 inches per second.

I'd like to say that I carried the one some when it should have been a two ... but really I carried 1.5 when I wished it was an 8.

Unrelated to the math error ... said blonde's name was Mrs Palmer... she had five daughters; four fine, but one rather portly.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944391)

Sometimes it's just baffling to see people goo "ooh" when someone states that they makes an extreme speed and then the people thinks that going that fast must be very dangerous.

Well, the historical evidence confirms they're right, and you're wrong. Yes, you really do have to sit on top of enough propellent to push that massive shuttle straight up into the air and accelerate it to 17000 mph, with pinpoint precision. And sometimes, it blows up and everybody dies.

Relative speed only meaningless in vacuum (2, Insightful)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944587)

If two objects were flying formation in the Earth's atmosphere at Mach 3, matching their relative speed would be a big deal.

Under terrestrial conditions, there are all manner of random perturbations and ways that energy can couple into systems (i.e. make them smash) that flying high speed formation is tricky. It is even more serious at supersonic speed and that is why rocket staging is non-trivial and all the problems Space-X was having with rocket tests.

But in the vacuum of Earth orbital space, there is not much in the way of perturbations apart from the errant meteoroid, and flying formation is not big deal. Now getting the point of flying formation is a big deal as discovered by the Gemini crews on account of the Alice-in-Wonderland logic of orbital mechanics where thrusting forward (into a higher orbit) slows you down and retro thrusting (into a lower orbit) speed you up.

Re:Speed figures are meaningless (1)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944765)

Speed figures are mostly meaningless. While they are going seventeen thousand miles per hour they are also accelerating towards the primary focus of an elliptical orbit. The acceleration is not uniform. The dynamics of an orbit are somewhat counter intuitive. Faster means a higher orbit, slower means a lower orbit. Catching up with something requires a higher orbit that intersects the orbit of the object you're chasing, when you and that object are at the point of intersection, then some well executed piloting to drop into the same orbit, rendezvous and dock without breaking anything.

Galactic Delicacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27943971)

The 'link up' between the Space Shuttle and Hubble was a very delicate one as the two were flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface.

To make matters even worse, they were both traveling at around 558,000 MPH relative to the galaxy.

Not very difficult... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27943999)

I used to bullseye wamprats in my T16 back home and they're not much bigger than the hubble

impressive/not impressive (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944015)

"flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface. "

Not impressive.

"flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface in opposirte directions."

Impressive.
 

Re:impressive/not impressive (5, Funny)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944043)

"flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface. " Not impressive.

Then let's see you do it.

Re:impressive/not impressive (4, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944339)

Do you have a U.S. government that I can borrow for awhile?

Re:impressive/not impressive (4, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944505)

Sure! Take mine. It's not being used for its original purpose right now anyway.

Re:impressive/not impressive (2, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944425)

"flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface. " Not impressive.

Then let's see you do it.

Give him 45 years, a multi-billion dollar budget, proven launch and flight platforms with 20+ years of successful flights, a number of catastrophic failures to learn from and a 50 odd professional test pilots and I'm sure he could do better than dock with a satellite in orbit.

NASA does more impressive stuff than this every day, and could be doing even more stuff if they were better managed and funded.

Canadarm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944095)

The CANADARM, developed, built, and donated by CANADA, is the robotic ARM on the US Space Shuttle. Funny how it is referred to as the robotic arm in the US, and CANADARM everywhere else, especially in Kanada (eh!).

http://library.thinkquest.org/C0126120/canadaArm.htm

By the way: one of the only parts of the shuttle to work flawlessly so far...

Kanonymous Kanadian Koward (the other KKK!).

Re:Canadarm! (0, Troll)

gb506 (738638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944193)

Oooh, what a big, long, strong, erect arm you Canadians have built. Does a little recognition make you feel more manly and effectual? I hope so...

Attach it to IIS (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944113)

Would it be possible to drag the telescope and attach it to the space station.

Seems like it would be a lot easier to service. Not to mention that cool Canada arm could work on it for years to come for a fraction of the cost.

Hand over ownership to the international community and split the costs might also help.

Re:Attach it to IIS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944249)

Hand over ownership to the international community and split the costs might also help.

Ah, I see now. You're one of those European socialists!

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944459)

Hand over ownership to the international community and split the costs might also help.

Ah, I see now. You're one of those European socialists!

Hmm.. given the American economy this year do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing?

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944285)

Possible - yes,. Practical, not at all. The telescope and ISS orbits have much different orbital inclinations. A quick back-of the envelope calculation suggests you need to adjust the Hubble's speed by something like 11,000 feet/second to get it into the same orbit with the ISS. That means a HUGE rocket with tremendous propulsion capability. The shuttle is nowhere near capable of that, and anything you did build would have to be gigantic and filled with fuel to be able to do it. The translunar boost stage of the Orion would be able to manage it, but that's a very long way off. So, no, that's not going to happen.

        Brett

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944299)

It's probably not possible, I doubt that the Shuttle has enough delta-vee when towing Hubble to make the necessary orbit plane and altitude changes.

But you wouldn't want to do it even if it were possible: all those people moving around in IIS would shake hell out of the fine pointing accuracy of the telescope.

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944893)

On the other hand, if you COULD do it, it would be nifty to have it NEXT to the ISS. I suppose the shuttle could take up an engine module to transport it or something... But how long would it take?

Re:Attach it to IIS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944337)

Would it be possible to drag your mom and attach her to the space station?

Seems like she would be a lot easier to service. Not to mention that cool Canada arm could work on her for years to come for a fraction of the cost.

Hand over ownership to the international community and splitting the costs might also help.

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944345)

The telescope is at a much higher altitude and probably also in a different orbital inclination. The change in velocity (delta-V) needed to get it to the same position as the ISS, -and- moving at the same direction and speed, is enormous. The shuttle doesn't have that kind of fuel. Not sure if -any- rocket we've put into orbit has ever carried enough fuel for that job. (If anything it would have been the rockets that took the Apollo astronauts out of Earth orbit and sent them toward the moon).

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944441)

Would it be possible to drag the telescope and attach it to the space station.

Seems like it would be a lot easier to service. Not to mention that cool Canada arm could work on it for years to come for a fraction of the cost.

Hand over ownership to the international community and split the costs might also help.

In short, no. They're in completely different orbits for a reason.

Re:Attach it to IIS (1)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944885)

Your idea about attatching it to IIS is stupid. Everyone knows apache is way better!

(modders: pun, not troll)

Re:Attach it to IIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27944965)

If you're going to attach it to a web server, why not Apache?

It was the hardest kiss in my life (2, Funny)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944215)

She and I were standing on the earth, which was moving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. We struggled to make our lips meet...

Re:It was the hardest kiss in my life (2, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944485)

She and I were standing on the earth, which was moving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. We struggled to make our lips meet...

You're a lucky man! Most of my liaisons appear to be with people who are not on the same planet as me at all.

Re:It was the hardest kiss in my life (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27946209)

You're a lucky man! Most of my liaisons appear to be with people who are not on the same planet as me at all.

Stop trying to hook up at a trekkie's conference, then...

/~Rockwolf

Re:It was the hardest kiss in my life (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944665)

She and I were standing on the earth, which was moving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. We struggled to make our lips meet...

I have some experience trouble-shooting kissing problems, maybe I can be of service.

First off, were you standing next to eachother? Your statement didn't make this clear; standing on different continents can be an serious issue.

Secondly, is she powered up? Did you flip the switch? Is it depressed on the 0 side or the | side?

Thirdly, did you check the cabling? Is the power cord plugged into the wall socket? Now check the other end of the cord, is it plugged into her back?

Sorry about those last two questions, those are just default trouble-shooting questions for any problem.

Please let us know if you found this experience helpful by responding to the resolution questionnaire email we will shortly be sending to you. If not, please log a ticket with Tier II Kissing support.

listen to Dr. Hammel's short speech about Hubble (4, Informative)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944233)

Last fall during the run-up to the original launch date, NASA conducted their usual round of press briefings on this mission, 30 days prior to launch. The briefings included the usual information about the mission, the crew, the scheduled spacewalk work, etc.

In addition to those briefings typical for any shuttle flight, they conducted a "science briefing" to explain what the work of this servicing mission was going to do for the scientific capabilities of Hubble. In the briefing was an all-star cast of astronomical scientists:

  • Ed Weiler, NASA administrator
  • David Leckrone, Hubble senior scientist
  • Robert O'Connell, committee chair for one of the two new instruments
  • James Green, principal investigator for the other new instrument
  • Heidi Hammel, scientist representing users of Hubble

Each of them made a short speech and then the rest of the briefing was turned over to questions from the press. I would encourage anyone with even a fleeting interest in science or astronomy to take the time to download and watch the entire briefing, as it is truly fantastic stuff they're talking about, and these guys do a great job of explaining it to regular people. Certainly science could use a bit of a pep talk after weathering the last 8 years of the Bush administration's hostility to science and objective truths.

In particular, the last person on the dais, Dr. Hammel, give an impassioned 10-minutes speech on the impact of Hubble on science and indeed on culture. It's an astonishing and beautiful statement on where we are in astronomical science and where we may be headed if this shuttle mission goes as planned. I'm surprised the press room didn't erupt in applause when she finished.

Dr. Hammel's speech starts at the 38:50 mark in the first half of the briefing that I've linked below. If you don't have time to watch the entire 90-minute briefing, at least watch her 10 minutes.

download page for first half of briefing [eu.org]

download page for second half of briefing [eu.org]

The above is adapted from an entry that I made to my personal blog back in September (not linked here). Sadly, I see that the above download links no longer work. I have not been able to find the briefing on Youtube, and the repeat briefings from a couple weeks ago did not include Dr. Hammel. FORTUNATELY, I did find most of Dr. Hammel's speech incorporated into a nice 5 minute video right here [youtube.com] . Please check it out!

Obsolete Already? (2, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27944921)

Just in the last 24 hours we got a story on Slashdot about the new 30 meter telescope being built. Given the cost to fix Hubble and the non-zero danger that is present, why are we even bothering with it any more? The new 30 meter telescope will have 100x the power of Hubble and allow us to do everything we ever wished, including make upgrades and repairs as needed - all less than for the cost of the launch to repair Hubble(The 30 meter telescope is projected to cost 700-800 million versus 1.3 billion for just one Shuttle launch).

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/13/2010241&from=rss [slashdot.org]
Hubble's already outclassed by Keck as well - so ground-based telescopes already make it almost entirely redundant.

Re:Obsolete Already? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945213)

Well, from talking to an Astronomer friend of mine:

1. Hubble is cheaper to repair and get good science out of than to purchase time on other ground based telescopes (shuttle costs not included)

2. Hubble is up and running, the new 30 meter scope won't be done for a while

3. Clouds/rain/etc suck

4. Hubble has a greater field of vision than ground based telescopes (not limited to what you can see from your spot on the ground).

Re:Obsolete Already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27945271)

Because what's better than one space telescope? ... Two space telescopes!

Re:Obsolete Already? (4, Informative)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945287)

Just in the last 24 hours we got a story on Slashdot about the new 30 meter telescope being built.

Hubble works, and has worked, for years now. Why abandon something we have right now for something that we might have in 2018 assuming it's finished on time? While we're waiting, we should also demolish all ground based telescopes that will be inferior and just put science on hold until then.

Hubble's already outclassed by Keck as well - so ground-based telescopes already make it almost entirely redundant.

Hubble can see ultraviolet, Keck can't. Even if it could, Hubble doesn't have to worry about the atmospheric turbulence.

Re:Obsolete Already? (2, Informative)

coppro (1143801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945407)

Because space telescopes can see radiation distorted or blocked entirely by the atmosphere, and repairing the Hubble is still cheaper than making a new space telescope. Sure, the TMT will have better resolving power, but that won't make it any more able to detect what isn't there.

Re:Obsolete Already? (3, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945483)

Hubble does things that ground-based telescopes can not. Wikipedia states it well:

Although the HST has clearly had a significant impact on astronomical research, the financial cost of this impact has been large. A study on the relative impacts on astronomy of different sizes of telescopes found that while papers based on HST data generate 15 times as many citations as a 4 m ground-based telescope such as the William Herschel Telescope, the HST costs about 100 times as much to build and maintain.[83]

Making the decision between investing in ground-based versus space-based telescopes in the future is complex. Even before Hubble was launched, specialized ground-based techniques such as aperture masking interferometry had obtained higher-resolution optical and infrared images than Hubble would achieve, though restricted to targets about 108 times brighter than the faintest targets observed by Hubble.[84][85] Since then, advances in adaptive optics have extended the high-resolution imaging capabilities of ground-based telescopes to the infrared imaging of faint objects. The usefulness of adaptive optics versus HST observations depends strongly on the particular details of the research questions being asked. In the visible bands, adaptive optics can only correct a relatively small field of view, whereas HST can conduct high-resolution optical imaging over a wide field. Only a small fraction of astronomical objects are accessible to high-resolution ground-based imaging; in contrast Hubble can perform high-resolution observations of any part of the night sky, and on objects that are extremely faint.

In short, Hubble does high-resolution photos and photos of faint objects well because it does not have to deal with the atmosphere.

Re:Obsolete Already? (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945591)

Just in the last 24 hours we got a story on Slashdot about the new 30 meter telescope being built. Given the cost to fix Hubble and the non-zero danger that is present, why are we even bothering with it any more?

Because Hubble can do a number of important things that ground based scopes can't possibly do - like looking deep into the parts of the IR and UV bands that the atmosphere absorbs.
 
 

The new 30 meter telescope will have 100x the power of Hubble and allow us to do everything we ever wished

Well, no the new telescope doesn't have '100x the power' of Hubble. A telescopes power can't be measured on a single simple scale like a piece of gear in an RPG. The new telescope has 100x the light gathering area, but it still can't see the astronomical sources too faint for their light to penetrate the atmosphere. It'll have about 10x the resolving power of Hubble, but it's limited by atmospheric effects and the performance of it's adaptive optics.
 
 

Hubble's already outclassed by Keck as well - so ground-based telescopes already make it almost entirely redundant.

Except if you actually follow the links and read the comments - you find that at best the Keck merely equals the performance of Hubble, it doesn't even remotely outclass it.

Re:Obsolete Already? (2, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27946173)

Except if you actually follow the links and read the comments - you find that at best the Keck merely equals the performance of Hubble, it doesn't even remotely outclass it.

Equaling Hubble but not costing 1.3 billion for a Shuttle launch to fix it is a big deal to me. It's not only that newer ground based telescopes are catching up with it. It's also about the insane cost to keep it running. That we can almost build two of those 30 meter telescopes for the cost of this one Shuttle launch makes me wonder why we bother.

It's not like we're rolling in money, either. Hubble was great when it was launched, but it's just to expensive to run any more. And God help us if we need to launch a rescue mission due to the damage that the Shuttle has sustained. 2.6 Billion, then.

That's a lot of money. I bet JPL would love to have even the cost of one Shuttle launch added to its funding for next year.(note - that would nearly double their budget for 2010!)

P.S. the 30 meter telescope will have technology in it to filter out virtually all of the distortion caused by the atmosphere. It's a very well thought out and high-tech design. For Infrared, though - the JWST is going to replace Hubble anyways in 2014.

http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

I'd have rather saved the billion+ dollars and just had no IR space telescope for 4 years. I honestly don't think most of the people would have noticed.

Bah thats nuttin' (0, Redundant)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27945585)

" The 'link up' between the Space Shuttle and Hubble was a very delicate one as the two were flying through space at 17,200 MPH"

That's nothing, the linkup between me and my laptop was a very delicate one as we were both flying through space at roughly 67,000 MPH; 91,000,000 miles above the surface of the sun!

c0Om (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27946091)

200 running NT
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