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This is a picture of Hubble above the Earth. The picture was taken by astronauts on the Space Shuttle.
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Hubble Servicing Mission Canceled
News story originally written on April 21, 2004

The Hubble Space Telescope is getting old. Every few years it needs to have astronauts visit it and fix worn out parts. NASA had planned to have the Shuttle visit Hubble in 2006. However, NASA decided in January 2004 to cancel that mission. NASA thinks it is too dangerous to send a mission to Hubble. NASA is being very careful about Space Shuttle missions since the Columbia disaster.

Without the repair mission Hubble may stop working in a few years. It has batteries that might wear out. Hubble also has gyroscopes that help steer the telescope. Those gyroscopes may break down soon. Engineers think Hubble might stop working in 2006 or 2007. They can't tell for sure, though. Let's hope Hubble keeps working for a few more years!

NASA is making a new space telescope. The new telescope is called the James Webb Space Telescope. The new telescope is much larger than Hubble.

NASA has a plan for Hubble when it finally stops working. NASA will attach a rocket to Hubble. The rocket will steer Hubble towards Earth. Hubble will crash-land in an ocean, far away from places where people live.

Last modified April 21, 2004 by Julia Genyuk.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA