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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 January, 2005, 11:11 GMT
Hubble rescue 'will be scrapped'
Hubble Space Telescope, Nasa
Hubble needs regular maintenance
The future of the Hubble Space Telescope is in doubt after the White House refused money for a rescue plan, US media has reported.

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.

Previous services

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.

What future for Hubble telescope?
21 Jan 05 |  Science/Nature
Robots rejected for Hubble rescue
09 Dec 04 |  Science/Nature
Nasa to save Hubble telescope
11 Aug 04 |  Science/Nature
Space shuttle 'could fix Hubble'
14 Jul 04 |  Science/Nature
Robots to rescue Hubble telescope
02 Jun 04 |  Science/Nature
Nasa optimistic about Hubble fate
23 Apr 04 |  Science/Nature


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