The future of the Hubble Space Telescope is in doubt after the White House refused money for a rescue plan, US media has reported.
Hubble needs regular maintenance
US space agency Nasa will announce the decision in February, ending plans to send a human or a robot repairman, the Washington Post reported.
The service cost was expected to top $1bn, but has been cut from the federal budget request, sources told the paper.
For 15 years Hubble has captured some of the most profound images of space.
It was designed to be visited periodically by astronauts who would perform repairs and install new equipment.
Astronauts have made servicing visits to the telescope several times, with a final servicing mission - now cancelled - due for 2006.
Despite the funding cut, the telescope is not yet being shut down - just allowed to operate normally until wear and tear take their toll.
Its original mission was supposed to last 15 years, and was extended to 20 years, with a projected end date of 2010.