Dr Griffin is the Adminstrations nominee for NASA Administrator. At his confirmation hearing today he said that he did not view a robotic servicing mission to Hubble as an option. Options he offered for Hubble were a simple robotic mission to deorbit it or a shuttle servicing mission. Decision on a shuttle mission to be contingent on successful return to flight. Wow!
This is good news for Hubble....
"When asked by another senator to speak about Hubble, Griffin said: "With regard to the value of Hubble, the shortest way to say this is that the Hubble, almost by itself, is the instrument that allowed us as a race of people to understand that it is true that we know nothing about 95% of the universe." With regard to robotic servicing, Griffin said: "Before I was nominated I was chair of review committee for the robotic servicing mission. That committee has designated that the mission is not feasible - in terms of the time, money, and period before Hubble may become unusable. I would like to take the robotic mission off the plate. I think the choice comes down to reinstating a shuttle servicing mission or a simple deorbiting mission. The initial decision was made in the aftermath of the loss of Columbia. When we return to flight it will be essentially a new vehicle, with a new risk analysis associated with it. I think we should reassess the earlier decision in light of what we learn after return to flight. "
[Edited 2005-04-12 23:16:32]