WASHINGTON (31 October 2006) -- IEEE-USA commends NASA for announcing today that it would send a Space Shuttle mission to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope.
"The Hubble is one of the most productive astronomical observatories ever built," said Dr. Russell Lefevre, IEEE-USA's vice president for technology policy. "The scientific achievements have fostered an understanding of outer space that would not have been possible without it. The proposed upgrades will provide even greater knowledge of the origin and structure of the universe."
A 2004 IEEE-USA position on the Hubble (http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/positions/hubble.asp) called on NASA to explore "all possible avenues to prolong the useful life of the telescope for the benefit of science and humanity."
The final maintenance voyage to the Hubble is tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2008. Five separate space walks will be required to extend and improve the orbiting observatory's capabilities and keep it functioning through 2013. See NASA's news release at http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/oct/HQ_06343_HST_announcement.html.
IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries. See http://www.ieeeusa.org.
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