Rescue of the Hubble Space Telescope: How the Space Program Prevented It from Falling to Earth

In 2022, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope officially surpassed the billion-second science mission mark on January 1 (NASA).

when NASA placed in orbit April 24, 1990 Classic and already legendary Hubble Space TelescopeHumanities included a A personal view from spaceHe expanded his astronomical knowledge and created a revolution in astronomy that had never been seen before.

with today 33 years of serviceA device orbiting the Earth at an altitude of nearly 500 kilometers is required Deep repair service To extend its useful life and its days decay in collision with our atmosphere.

Astronauts placed glasses on Hubble in 1993 to repair one of its poorly constructed optics (NASA).

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) put a powerful alternative into space last year: The James Webb Space Telescope, however, has other characteristics, as the older instrument can be seen with the naked eye and the newer one through the infrared band.. Beyond this milestone, millions of nostalgic people are crying out for NASA to send a space probe to fix Hubble, which already has 5 update services. The last space shuttle mission was in 2009.

Hubble passed more Three decadess Sending important information to astronomers and astrophysicists And will probably continue for some time. But its failures and out-of-service periods are becoming more frequent, until an automatic and remote repair allows it to continue its work. However, Hubble continues to surprise everyone No one expected it to last more than 20 years.

A selection of amazing images taken by Hubble.

In an effort to extend its useful life and continue to enjoy its spectacular images, a private consortium wants to help repair it, while also drawing up a plan to clean up the debris in your orbit. Astroscale One of the startups that designed the support program for the famous space telescope.

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Established in 2013, it launched the ELSA-d space debris capture demonstration mission in March 2021. Experimental debris capture technology Using simulated scrap. The test was terminated in May 2022 due to “abnormal spacecraft conditions”. However, Astroscale is planning a similar mission in 2024.

Moments It is the second space agency. It began operations in 2017 and has launched several demonstration flights of the space shuttle Vigoride on SpaceX rideshare missions. The Astroscale-Momentus program for Hubble will also use Vicoride, which will launch on a yet-to-be-determined rocket.

The moment Discovery launched Hubble into orbit (NASA).

After the rover reaches space, it will use astroscale technology for rendezvous operations. Proximity and connectivity to reach the telescope. Can be energetic will move the telescope’s orbit up to 50 kilometersIt will then move on to a new mission to clean up orbital debris near Hubble.

This boost was necessary when Hubble flew into space in April 1990. Spacecraft Discovery, its altitude is 540 km from Earth. But recent data suggest that it is orbiting about 60 km below its initial position. Hubble is gradually collapsing due to the pull exerted by the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA retired the 30-year-old shuttle fleet in 2011, leaving no current service options, so a mission with another shuttle would be one of the most effective solutions.

At your current height, Hubble has a 50% chance of hitting our planet in 2037Hubble project manager Patrick Kruse said during a press conference at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. infobae.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule will carry the telescope into space

SpaceX, owned by CEO and eccentric businessman Elon Musk, is eager to reach Hubble thanks to the already proven and successful Dragon capsules and the Polaris project, a private space project funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman. Using SpaceX’s Dragon and Starship vehicles to transport Isaacman and other commercial astronauts of his choice.

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Let’s take a look at Dragon’s capabilities and how they will need to be adapted to safely reunite and dock with Hubble.Jessica Jensen, SpaceX’s vice president of customer operations and integration, said during the conference. “The details of how you physically do it, how we do it safely from a trajectory standpoint, that’s all that needs to be worked out,” he said, adding that the SpaceX-Polaris project will extend the telescope’s lifespan by 20 years.

Hubble captures a star cluster millions of light years from Earth (NASA).

NASA is still investigating Hubble’s proposals were published In response to your request for information Expires on January 24, 2023. Other consortiums may also have submitted bids. NASA officials said the studies could be useful for future efforts to extend the life of other satellites through refueling operations, raising their orbits and other efforts that could save costs.

“This study is an exciting example of the innovative approaches NASA is exploring through public-private partnerships,” Thomas Zurbussen, then associate administrator of NASA’s Science Operations Directorate, said in a December 2022 statement. . “As our fleet grows, we want to explore a wide range of opportunities to support the strongest and most advanced science missions possible.”

Orbital arrangements. Hubble was visited five times by astronauts. Last, in 2009. (NASA)

Named after Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), the astronomer who demonstrated the expansion of the universe in 1929. The telescope was launched on mission STS-31 as part of the inaugural Great Observatories program. The device weighs about 11 tonnes, is cylindrical in shape, 13.2 meters long and 4.2 meters in diameter. It cost NASA and ESA $2.8 billion.

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“Hubble’s capabilities have grown tremendously over its more than 30 years of operation. This is because new, sophisticated scientific instruments have been added to the telescope. During the five astronauts’ service missions. By replacing and upgrading old parts, these servicing tasks have greatly extended the life of the telescope.” NASA has confirmed on its website.

The telescope is of the reflector type, and its primary mirror is 2.4 meters in diameter, containing four instruments to acquire images and spectra. It also has rechargeable batteries from solar panels, Using the stored electricity when the earth blocks the sun or if the orientation of the panels is not correct.

This creates optical illusions similar to those in the Hubble image, altering the fabric of gravity. Joseph Depasquale (STSCI)

Hubble has done Over 1.5 million observations throughout its useful life and permitted publication Nearly 20,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles about their findings.

“Hubble looked into the distant past of our universe, more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth. Capturing merging galaxies, probing supermassive black holes Lurking in its depths”, defines NASA, reviewing its greatest achievements:

Many companies want to get funding to repair Hubble. REUTERS/NASA

The constellation was the first image captured on May 20, 1990.

– Existence of black holes.

– New galaxies and more distant systems.

Comet Schumacher-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994.

– Exoplanets orbiting other stars.

-Moons around Pluto-like (dwarf) planets.

-Recently, the most distant star ever seen: Earendel, 12.9 billion light-years away.

Continue reading:

The old and dilapidated Hubble Space Telescope faces retirement
The Hubble Telescope Turns 33: Why It Changed the Way We See the Universe
Hubble Telescope and Unique Photo Discovery of Rare Galaxies in the Universe

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