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Canadian Robot Could Rescue Hubble

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the mounties-in-space dept.

Space 298

NETHED writes "We have all seen Stories about The Hubble Space Telescope and its current problems. Since then, NASA has okayed the fix of the HST. It seems that America's neighbor to the North has some answers. Dextre to the rescue. The mission would not be decided upon until next summer says Sean O'Keefe. It seems that NASA saw this as a good way to listen to the public for about 1.6 billion dollars." Update: 08/11 15:45 GMT by T : Reader Michael Mol dug up a link with a more technical explanation of Dextre, noting "It looks like Dextre's normally supposed to be attached to something before it performs work."

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Does your life lack a cause? (0, Offtopic)

Bring back the old t (784356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939782)

There are people who get up every day, work a 9 to 5 and go home to their families trading their lives for varying degrees of cash. In my view, though clearly not theirs, they are selling their lives very cheaply. These are wage slaves and the difference between people like that and a zombie is generally lost on me. Do you realize that many, I'm not saying all or even most, of the Linux supporters are like this, they have never coded anything in their lives, have never even played a video game, in fact the only reason they are supporting Linux is because it is a cause and their life lacks one. That is an incredibly sad group of folks, and I wonder what their reaction will be when they finally understand they are supporting software and not the second coming.

Read more [sco.com]

I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939829)

Repairs (1)

netglen (253539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939787)

I'm just happy that they decided not to ditch the Hubble.

Re:Repairs (4, Interesting)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939853)

I'm just happy that they decided not to ditch the Hubble.

Ditching it may be stupid, but this is crazy. 1.6 billion for what? It's replacement is only slated to cost $824.8 million [nasa.gov]

Gimmy a freaking break.

Re:Repairs (5, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939966)

Its replacement also isn't scheduled to go up for another 7 years. And doesn't factor in the cost to get it up there yet. Or the labour to build the thing. Or the cost of fixing it when the inevitable problems crop up.

I'll give you a freaking break right away.

Replacement (4, Interesting)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940195)

Since we have another mirror for it (better than the one in orbit), why not just build another unit of the same design and loft it on an expendable rocket? If we have a replacment in orbit we don't have to worry about the old one, except if we want to put it in a museum instead of the ocean.

This would also set a precedent for adding new capability instead of spending huge sums to maintain the old stuff. Why shouldn't we have several Hubble-type scopes instead of just one, anyway?

Re:Repairs (1)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940207)

Its replacement also isn't scheduled to go up for another 7 years...

So why not push this project a bit more? I'm all for not rushing things, but surely there are priority considerations that could be improved here.

...And doesn't factor in the cost to get it up there yet. Or the labour to build the thing. Or the cost of fixing it when the inevitable problems crop up.

Are you sure? What costs would you assume are in that number, just design costs? I don't see a break down, so my assumption is that is a mission cost estimate.

Also, lets look at the JWST FAQ to get some more cost details:
" JWST is projected to cost one-fourth to one-third the cost of Hubble, one of the most successful science instruments ever, yet JWST will be more capable than Hubble in many ways. The JWST will realize these cost savings primarily through advanced technology. JWST has a shorter lifetime, and since it will not be serviced in space, there are no costs for servicing. " [nasa.gov]

So, no, there will not be costly service missions. Kind of hard to service something at the second Lagrange point.

I'll give you a freaking break right away.

You must feel sooo cool.

Re:Repairs (0)

alw53 (702722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940060)


That's $824.8 million in NASA budgetary estimate dollars, which are not the same as real dollars.

Re:Repairs (3, Informative)

madprogrammer (214633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940071)

I thought I read somewhere that while the JWST would "replace" Hubble, there was still some things that Hubble could do that JWST couldn't.

Is that true?

Re:Repairs (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940108)

They "see" different wavelengths of light. JWST is designed to see farther. They'll be looking at completely different things.

The question is more like "has Hubble 'seen' enough?"

Are there any more things we can usefully point it at, or do we have enough images to analyse as it is? Besides pretty desktop wallpapers, what type of knowledge or discoveries will that 1.6 billion to keep it up there get us?

What does it get us? (4, Insightful)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940232)

Hubble sees very well in the visible and the near UV, so if we want full-spectrum coverage of unknown objects we are not going to be able to get it with just the Webb telescope.

Re:Repairs (3, Insightful)

netglen (253539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940134)

>>Ditching it may be stupid, but this is crazy.

I guess the main reason is that the damn thing is still cranking out incredible images and has a huge waiting list. Besides I consider the so called ditching solution by O'Keefe to be extremely lazy. If the replacement is so inexpensive, why not eventually have both devices serving the scientific community?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939789)

fp

Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (0, Troll)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939794)

The poster seems surprised that Canadians have a fix. It would make sense, since we built the thing.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (4, Informative)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939838)

Err, wait. I retract my statement. I was thinking of the Canadarm.

I'm surprised someone modded me insightful already.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (-1, Troll)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939887)

Welcome to slashdot moderation... where you get modded down (Or possibly "restricted") for calling a retard with a Low UID a "Retard" for being Retarded, Get modded overrated 10 times when you havent had any other moderation to your post, and where you can be ranked "Insightful" when you spew BS, but are at least confident about it

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (-1, Offtopic)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939969)

Welcome to Slashdot where trolls troll about trolling, high UIDs trolls troll about low UIDs trolling, and where people whine about subjective moderation.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939999)

Welcome to Slashdot. A community.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (-1, Troll)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939929)

kneejerk anti-US sentiment?

obsessive Canada fan?

typical slashdot mod who goes for style not content?

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939866)

Canadians would've been first to the moon too, if they could've decided whether to call the mission "Moonshot One" or "Premier Projectile de Lune"

Seriously, I thought Hubble was joint NASA/EU Space Agency. Sure you're not thinking of the splendidly self deprecating Humble Space Telescope [about.com]

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (2, Interesting)

mark0 (750639) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939872)

Well, actually, do you want to claim the most famously (mis)manufactured bit, the myopic mirror, which I believe was made by Perkin Elmer, or at least tested by them. They appear to be in the US [perkinelmer.com] , though I am willing to believe it was a group of kanuckle-heads. The difference between precision and accuracy is an important one...

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939924)

last I checked, the mirror in question was destined for one of those KH11 NSA satellites, when it was discovered it was flawed. then they decided to give it to astronomy...

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939980)

I'd suggest "checking" that again.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1)

Aerog (324274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939926)

Actually, I wouldn't have been surprised. When the comment was made "we built it" my first thought was "Yeah, well that probably explains the optics... Maybe we shouldn't have just ground up our empties to save some money."

Apparently, as good as Keiths is, the bottles just don't make good scientific-grade optics...

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (3, Funny)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939957)

The pride of Nova Scotia serves better purposes.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1)

Aerog (324274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940062)

You're right. They probably used the Molson bottles. Now that I think of it, Keiths bottles probably WOULD make good scientific optics.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940128)

Kanuckle-heads LOL! As a proud Canadian I appreciate the name calling when it is this good.

Re:Canadian Robot to fix Canadian Telescope (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940249)

Perhaps you're thinking of the Humble [space.com] space telescope, or properly MOST? (Darn thing looks like a suitcase-size Kodak.)

As always... (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939797)

Blame Canada!!!

Re:As always... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940161)

Oh, I wish I was back in old Canada, a land which I never shall lampoon.
How I pine for the ice covering Lake Manitoba and the beauty that is Saskatoon.
Oh, I wish I was stuck in the hills of Alberta drinkin beer with some big, dumb guy trapping fur;
as he scraped and he chisled all the moose dung off his boot, I would learn that he's the prime minister.
Oh, I wish I was in the land that gave us Peter Jennings, Alanis Morrissette, Mike Myers too...
No, I take that back, I wouldn't go there even if you paid me! Oh, Canada, you are a place I must eskew.
Oh, I wish I was blowing up Prince Edward Island, then going on to bomb Ontario.
The destruction of Canada and all of its culture is by far my favorite scenario.
Why, you lousy, stinkin', Francophonic, bacon-lovin' bastards, your country's just a giant piece of sh...

Popular opinion wins out? (4, Interesting)

MarkEst1973 (769601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939802)

I'm quite glad that public outcry over abandoning Hubble has changed NASA's plan for the space telescope.

It was poor timing on NASA's part, really, because just when the latest and greatest pics from Hubble were gaining mass popularity, they wanted to pull the plug. Maybe O'Keefe isn't the savviest politician?

The HST is one of the coolest tools we have for exploration. I'm rather glad that it will be serviced, and thanks to our country's hat (Canada) for stepping up.

Re:Popular opinion wins out? (4, Funny)

amightywind (691887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939950)

Does that make Mexico our ass?

Re:Popular opinion wins out? (2, Funny)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939983)

Wait. Wasn't it already?

just hope Dee Dee... (3, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939805)

doesn't show up to throw a wrench in the works.

Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (2, Interesting)

Calathea (557538) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939808)

Other than this project and the arm for the ISS (and possibly the shuttle) is there anything else that Canada has put into space? Are they particularly good at robotics?

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (5, Informative)

fitten (521191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939884)

There are some good robotics folks in Canada. Most notably are the Canadarm (robotic arm on the Shuttle) and a few deep diving ocean exploration vehicles that have very advanced robotic arms and such on them (one of which, with some cosmetic changes, was used in "The Abyss").

Canadian Robotics are the $hit (2, Insightful)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940090)

However, most of our (Canada's) Research has gone into underwater exploration. This only makes sense since over 80% of our border is coastline. This is where to look for examples of canadian robotics.

Other examples of advances from canadians is some of the more advanced Meterology satallites that have been designed and developed here in our humble country.

For some references you can check out..
The ISE [subsea.org] Laval University [ulaval.ca]
and a list of others [umass.edu]

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939922)

You need to read up on Canada's history in space. We put up the first commercial communications satellite (no bouncing signals off of a baloon!), have the worlds most powerful communications satellites, built a synthetic aperture radar satellite with such precise imaging capabilities that the US refused to launch it, and the list goes on.

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (0, Offtopic)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940002)

That must explain why my Bell Mobility signals are shit.

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (1)

My name isn't Tim (684860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940089)

Cell towers are not in space....
I'm not quite sure what your point is.

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939987)

Yes, Canada was in fact the third country in space after the Russians and Americans. We were also the first country to have commercial geostationary satelities in space.

Here's a site with a brief timeline and notes aboot Canada in space [members.shaw.ca]

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940037)

Canada's vast area and sparse population drive much of her space activity. Canada is a pioneer and even a leader in satellite communication because that is the cheapest way to communicate with the whole country. It's the same for remote sensing. It's way cheaper to map the country's resources from space than it is on the ground.

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940139)

I believe the batteries for the space suits are made down the street.

Re:Didn't realise Canada did that much in Space (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940193)

Space Suit Batteries being made in Mississauga...

http://www.siliconvalleynorth.com/home/newskzCMg UA KmL.html
http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/s tory/RTGAM .20040630.gtelec072/BNPrint/Technology/?mainhub=GT

Canadian Manufacturing (4, Funny)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939813)

Dextre looks like a Lego bot. Is this how NASA plans to save money?

here's to... (2, Funny)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939814)


A hope that Dextre won't be a prank in the good ol' tradition of Canadian sense of humor.

Re:here's to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940039)

Its got two arms ... all it really needs is one arm and something to wank for a good joke, right?
--
canadian

Re:here's to... (3, Informative)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940168)

Not to mention humour, eh?

Taking Apart Hubble (3, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939818)

Great, but will it be able to service a device that wasn't built to be taken apart?

The Hubble wasn't designed to be entirely serviceable...that led to problems with previous servicing missions, most notably replacing the old defective mirror.

It looks like Dextre [space.gc.ca] is supposed to be mounted to something before operating. Perhaps they're planning on a free controlled platform?

Dextre (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939938)

Dextre is a very versatile robotic tool. It can work solo, fixed to one of the base points (known as power data grapple fixtures) along the side of the Station or on the Mobile Base System.

From the link you provided.
I'd assume it is running solo.

Re:Dextre (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939946)

By "Controlled platform" I meant a thruster-and-gyro-run platform controlled by radio from the Earth's surface.

Re:Taking Apart Hubble (1)

azmatsci (759463) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939949)

Yes it was; it was designed with removable modules. The mirror wasn't designed to be servicable. They just removed one of the spectometer (If I remember right) units and replaced it with an optics unit.

Re:Taking Apart Hubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940086)

It looks like Dextre is supposed to be mounted to something before operating.

As the announcement said: mounties in space...

Robotic vs. manned service mission (4, Interesting)

hcg50a (690062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939821)

O'Keefe is going to have to ask Congress for an extra $1.6B, which isn't budgeted. Isn't this about 5 times the amount a manned mission costs to do the same thing?

Is it worth it?

Re:Robotic vs. manned service mission (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939869)

It's not just the delivery side of the mission. NASA wants to fix/replace several components as well to extend the life of the HST. So that cost figure includes the development and construction of the components.

It will be interesting to see who/what performs the mission. A friend at NASA Goddard says that the astronaut corps is lobbying hard to do the job.

Real costs (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940080)

A shuttle launch costs at least $500 million not including the enormous fixed costs of shuttle related centers and personnel. Add that to the risk of defying the Columbia investigation recommendations and the political reality of public support for the Hubble pork barrel and I'd say the figure sounds reasonable. Furthermore, the mission stands to give a big boost to robotics in general.

Interesting Hubble write up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939828)

There is an good write up on the bealagured hubble http://www.geocities.com/visitbipin/crazy.html [geocities.com] here.

It goes through all the seemingly endless problems hubble has had!

Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939831)

Given the budget why not replace Hubble.

Transfer Hubble to ESA! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939832)

If at some point NASA won't be willing to maintain the hubble anymore, how about transfering it to ESA? (petty nationalistic interests aside.)

Re:Transfer Hubble to ESA! (2, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940082)

If at some point NASA won't be willing to maintain the hubble anymore, how about transfering it to ESA? (petty nationalistic interests aside.)

America has the capability, but not the will, to maintain Hubble. Maybe ESA or Russia or Japan might have the will, but nobody has the capability. AFAIK, only the Shuttle is capable of reaching, capturing and repairing Hubble. Just perhaps a Soyuz could get up there, but its ability to manoeuvre and dock would be very much in question.

Cool (5, Interesting)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939840)

Dextre is a clever name for a two armed robot. In classical latin Dexter is the right hand and Sinister is the left hand. That is why we call people who have "two right hands" ambi-dexterous. I'm not going to make any jokes about left handed people being sinister in case they ended up with all the mod points today.

Re:Cool (0, Offtopic)

justkarl (775856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939973)

I'm not going to make any jokes about left handed people being sinister in case they ended up with all the mod points today.

I'm not making a joke or anything, actually this is pure speculation on the very informative post of parent, but is that where right/left in reference to conservative/liberal categorization comes from? Most conservatives would probably say that liberals are "evil" and "sinister"(I guess I wouldn't know, being a liberal). Anybody have an idea?

Re:Cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940042)

Read this [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool (2, Informative)

aiabx (36440) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940100)

Left and Right in the political sense come from the post-revolutionary French National Assembly, where the conservatives sat on the right of the speaker while the radicals sat on the left.

Hey look! A mention of the French on Slashdot without any peurile French-bashing!
-aiabx

Re:Cool (1)

davandhol (728225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940133)

No, the right/left in terms of conservative/liberal came from the French government. I didn't look this up, but off the top of my head, with the different "estates" that France had, the nobles/bishops sat on the right of the king and the peasants/craftsmen sat on the left of the king, hence the Right and the Left.

Re:Cool (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940092)

Probably a good idea: this is the first comment I saw on this story, this particular pageview was the one that gave me modpoints, and yes, I am left-handed.

(not that I actually would've modded you anything other than +1 Funny. ;)

Got the arms down, (4, Funny)

Aerog (324274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939847)

Okay, we've proven that we're good at building huge robotic arms. Canada == Huge arms in space. Now what about some legs, eh? Then, once we have the legs, if we put some funding into it we could put the two together and build some giant Canada-space-mechs. It's cool even without the "giant robot" factor.

1. Build huge space-mechs
2. ???
3. Profit!

It practically sells itself!

Re:Got the arms down, (1, Funny)

chickygrrl (260785) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939990)

Wonderful. Now I'm imagining Voltron with a maple leaf instead of the "crest" on the chest.

Re:Got the arms down, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940018)

Don't forget the two-four instead of a shield.

Re:Got the arms down, (2, Funny)

Saluton_Mondo (728648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940030)


I, for one, would welcome our giant Canadian-space-mech overlords!

Re:Got the arms down, (1)

Sepper (524857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940153)

Well, you COULD add a Head to Dexter but it would probably be pretty scarry...
http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/img/spdm-hr.jpg [space.gc.ca]

Go Canada! (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939848)

First they built the big Arm thing that goes inside a shuttle.
Now they've made a cylinder with two arms! and a wiener-prod.
What will they think of next?

But seriously, I think it's great if Hubble can be repaired. More power to you guys.

Why bother? (5, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939851)

Are we going to run back to mommy every time we stub our toes in space?

Being on the frontier is dangerous; every single one of the astronauts knows this and signed up for it.

If any of them don't want to fly Space Shuttle missions anymore, then don't make them. But I'm sure enough would volunteer for a manned Hubble repair mission that it wouldn't be a problem.

Besides, we need to keep Hubble going; The Webb telescope is NOT a replacement for Hubble - it looks at different wavelengths; if we could ever get both of them operating at the same time they could be used in a complimentary fashion.

Re:Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

namilax (804587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939918)

what the hell is with your sig file?

Re:Why bother? (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939932)

It's not just an issue of volunteer-fly-fix-land. Training for a mission takes a long time. What would you do if the astronaut expressed reservations once he'd already comitted to the mission?

But that's not the primary issue, anyway. Astronauts sign up in the first place knowing it's a dangerous job.

The people who can't stand it being dangerous is the general public, whom I would invite to study commercial and government naval travel from before we had convenient search-and-rescue tools like helicopters, radar and decent weather forecasts. (The latter two more as a prevention mechanism than as a rescue tool.)

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939981)

Why not. I dont doubt astronauts would be prepared to fly the mission but why bother if a robot can do the job just as well. EVA's are a still a dangerous, clumsy undertaking, previous repair missions had all reported problems with the coldness affecting astronauts hands. OK a robot may not currently be as adaptable as an astronaut but when you are 160 miles up there is only so much you can do anyway should plan A fail. Robotic missions would be far cheaper and have a much faster turn around time.

And what about the bad PR should a manned mission fail in a ball of flames? You can see the headlines now, 'Six astronauts die to fix a bloody telescope we dont really need'.

Robots linked to a control center are the way of the future for this sort of mission so we may as well start using them now. There will still be plenty of mission opportunities for astronauts.

$1.6B US or Canadian? (3, Funny)

allanc (25681) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939873)

Is the $1.6B cost of this in US or CA funds? 'Cause I got about $1.6B Canadian back in change from my Value Meal yesterday...

--AC

Re:$1.6B US or Canadian? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939965)

Mod -1: Chose to insult a country other than America.

Re:$1.6B US or Canadian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940176)

Laugh now while you can. In a few years you will be wiping your ass with dollar bills- and not because your rich.

Good stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939885)

Its aboot time the Canadians got involved, eh?

Re:Good stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939952)

OMG quick! mod this funny, he said "eh" cuz canadians say "eh" alot, get it??

SCTV? (0, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939906)

For some reason this reminds me of an episode of SCTV where 3CP-TV blocks the canadian satellite and some Red Adair-type goes up to fix the canadian satellite and suddenly finds himself screwed out of his return trip on the candian rocket, so he jumps on one of the satellites and rides it back to earth as CCCP starts WW III, launching missiles at Canada.

I just hope they don't follow this script with Hubble.

SCTV Episode link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940068)

CCCP1 [sctvguide.ca]

2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939908)

Just saw an interview with Ivan Semeniuk on CTV news (Canadian channel), and the new Dextre robot won't be ready until 2007. Better late than never I guess.

ISS Telescope (2, Insightful)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939920)

Too bad all the competing projects do not work together. If the Hubble telescope was 'designed' for docking, it could have been pulled to the ISS and attached.
Since the seemingly forgotten ISS needs inhabitant refreshes every so often, the cost for upkeep of both could be lessened - parts could be sent w/the new batch and damaged parts returned w/old.

Re:ISS Telescope (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939975)

You have a point there.

Too bad Nasa can't create a new module for the ISS to connect to Hubble to. Politicians just don't have enough imagination or will power...

Re:ISS Telescope (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940034)

Yea. Considering Hubble and the ISS are in different orbits traveling at different vectors at different speeds . . . it would be easier to grab Hubble, return it to earth and re-launch it. And Hubble wouldn't survive that.

Re:ISS Telescope (1)

aiabx (36440) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940157)

The Hubble was deliberately kept far from the ISS so that the view would not be affected by gasses from the various rockets flying around, leaking window seals, loose nuts and bolts, and all the other crap that can be found around a space station.
-aiabx

Re:ISS Telescope (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940104)

> If the Hubble telescope was 'designed' for docking, it
> could have been pulled to the ISS and attached. Since the
> seemingly forgotten ISS needs inhabitant refreshes every so
> often, the cost for upkeep of both could be lessened -
> parts could be sent w/the new batch and damaged parts
> returned w/old.

An excellent plan, sir, with two minor drawbacks[/kryten]:

"pulling" the Hubble to the ISS would take a larger rocket than launched it originally - they are in significantly different orbits and the energy required to go from one to the other is well beyond any existing rocket stage.

Attaching it to ISS would be worse than useless. The Hubble has to point accurately and stably over long periods. The ISS doesn't need to point very well at all, and vibrates continuously from various sources including the astronauts movements.

Re:ISS Telescope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940169)

Also too bad everything in space isn't floating along next to each other. You can't exactly see Hubble out the window of the ISS and walk over to fix it. For one the ISS is at around 230 miles while Hubble orbits at 375. You might notice another minor problem if you look at the two orbits here http://hubble.nasa.gov/hubble-operations/tracking. html [nasa.gov] and here http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/tracking/ [nasa.gov] .

NASA has become bloated, fat, and lazy (0, Flamebait)

chud67 (690322) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939979)

After watching many of NASA's blunders recently and seeing some of the excellent work being done by X-Prize contestants (SpaceShip One) for little money, I have become convinced that NASA has become so bloated and inefficient that it is basically Amtrak in space. The whole organization should be nuked and the private sector should get all the grants. The money would be spent more efficiently.

Re:NASA has become bloated, fat, and lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940167)

Except for those dollars sloughed off as profits, and executive bonuses, and accounting "mistakes", and advertising hype, not to mention the loss of pure science research and the patenting of anything discovered during space-based experiments.

The private sector may be able to act in a complementary fashion, but it cannot completely replace public space research.

Re:NASA has become bloated, fat, and lazy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940237)

Over 80% of NASA's budget already goes to the private sector. the requested 2005 budget was on the order of $16 billion.

Just as a comparison:

DOD's 2005 budget is nearly $400 billion, and I don't think that includes the extras for the war in iraq.

if your a US citizen you get you chance in November to decide where your money is being best spent.

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9939986)

I for one welcome our new Canadian Robot overlords.
In Soviet Russia, um.... Natalie Portman, um
Oh nevermind... I've got nothing

MD Robotics (4, Interesting)

NeoCode (207863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9939995)

MD Robotics [mdrobotics.ca] has played a vital role in NASA space programs. It's the same company that has built the CanadaArm and CanadaArm2 and is now providing with Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator [mdrobotics.ca] for HST.

I am very proud to see Canada (and MD Robotics, since it has a development lab in my hometown) play a vital role in ISS (with CanadaArm and CA2) and now the HST.

News... without the new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940040)

There was a blurb about this on Space channel (Canadian Sci-Fi) about a month ago, showing a prototype in action.

Is it just me or... (3, Insightful)

Froze (398171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9940146)

Does it seem like NASA made the most publically sucsessful project into a false sacrificial lamb in order that they might both increase their budget by special appropriation and appear to be managing their budget by cutting costs on supposedly outdated hardware.

It seems that their gambit is paying off. The public (ok, a bunch of geeks) wailed loud enough that congress is willing to consider special funding.

Way to go, 51st State! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940186)

Who said Canada had no space program?

Now if President Bush would simply buy Cuba from Fidel, then we could have 52 states in the USA.

Robot Mandark arm-wrestles for fixing rights (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9940218)

Robot Mandark and Robot Dextre went at it in the depths of space over who would be able to repair the Hubble telescope better.
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