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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

If you like, you can send Magpie an email!



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Friday, January 16, 2004

The axe falls on the Hubble Telescope.

Dubya's new space agenda means that there will be no more missions to service the orbiting Hubble Telescope. Without having its worn gyroscopes replaced, Hubble will end its useful life by 2008, and fall to earth by 2012. While the Hubble is supposed to be replaced by another telescope in 2011, Dubya's shift of priorities most likely means that scientists will be without a space-based telescope of Hubble's caliber for up to three years.

Outside Dubya's administration, there is a fair amount of grumbling about Hubble's fate. For example, here's an excerpt from an online discussion that the Washington Post had with former Clinton science advisor John Gibbons on Thursday:

I think the Hubble is one of our best investments and one of the best uses to date of manned spaceflight. It would be a tragedy to cut its lifetime short.

The Hubble is a glorious instrument and has paid off rich rewards in terms of the nature of the universe. It also proved the enormous value of having humans in earth's orbit. When it was first put up, it needed eyeglasses due to incorrect building. Astronauts were able to go up and fix it. But that's totally different from sending humans off to another planet.

| | Posted by Magpie at 5:55 PM | Get permalink




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