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NASA Cancels Hubble Mission, and Other Space Bits

mhw25 Re:ISS above everything? (467 comments)

Basically what I was saying is this:
Cost of ISS to cost of Hubble: say 5-10x; 1 order of magnitude
Scientific return from Hubble to ISS: at least 10x (elaboration below)-that is at least another order
So " bang for bucks, Hubble must be at least two orders of magnitude above the ISS in returning scientific data".

Hard as it is to quantify, Hubble has been:
(Taken from NASA)

Every day, Hubble archives 3 to 5 gigabytes of data and delivers between 10 and 15 gigabytes to astronomers all over the world. See science highlights. As of March 2000, Hubble has:
Taken more than 330,000 separate observations.
Observed more than 25,000 astronomical targets.
Created a data archive of over 7.3 terabytes. (That is like completely filling a PC every day for 10 years.)
Provided data for more than 2,663 scientific papers.
And that was from its launch back in 1990; while ISS missions was mostly construction - with occasional scientific works maybe a few weeks every year with a shuttle visiting.

The cost of Hubble? Initial construction has been less than the cost of 1 B2 (approx 2.2 billion according to CNN) and in its lifetime, around 6 billion, by the time it is projected (earlier) to be retired in 2010

I admire your back of envelope calculations, it is indeed very accurate for the Hubble, but quite short on the ISS (which is a very complex project). I don't have to, and didn't exaggerated on anything - these things you read about for interest and the approx figures stay in your head and if there need be, someone would have written it on some authoritative organisation that you can refer to.

The thing is, ISS was intially planned to cost around 9billion in Reagan's era. How it balloned to that is perhaps something someone would write a book about one day.

And now I have wasted another 20min on this, precious Sat time at that!

more than 10 years ago


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