Kelly Young in New Scientist:
NASA’s most famous observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, will get a much anticipated life extension after all. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin announced on Tuesday that a space shuttle will be sent to upgrade Hubble and add a few years to the lifetime of the venerable queen of the sky.
“We are going to add a shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope to the shuttle’s manifest to be flown before it retires [in 2010],” Griffin said to applause at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, US.
The move, though not unexpected, still had astronomers on the edge of their seats. The telescope is enormously popular and has brought back a wealth of data since its launch aboard a space shuttle in 1990.
“The Hubble Space Telescope has been the greatest telescope since Galileo invented the first one,” said US Senator Barbara Mikulski, who pushed NASA to reconsider a final servicing mission.