[FPSPACE] Hubble, Webb, neo-Saturn 5s
Sun, 18 Jan 2004 16:44:20 +0200
To cancel a Hubble upgrade after the instrumentation has been built is as much a waste on money as it would be if the Pluto-Charon Express will be cancelled after paying the funds to build the probe.
The Webb telescope has to do an incredible feat. It has to unfold its mirrors, & robotically align them, collimate them I think is the spelling, to at least a quarter of one angstrom accuracy. Before it has proved that it can do that in orbit, it is crazy not to keep replacing Hubble gyros. But from now on, its up to the Astronomy-NSF lobby to fight back.
On the latest plea for build a neo-Saturn 5, I'm sure CP Vick was it, is preaching to the converted here.Especially if he remembers the never-built proposal for a parasail to make each first stage re-usable. Building a closed-cycle version of the Saturn 5 engine will be chicken-feed compared to the political problem, which is unsolvable.
No US Administration, Bush or post-Bush, is ever, ever, going to ask Congress for the funds for that again until AFTER the Chinese, or Indians, or Russians, have successfully launched at least three SLVs in the 3000 ton range, & shows every sign of continuing to manufacture & launch them. So, brace yourself for a fifteen or twenty year wait. - Keith