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Mothers of Invention: Hubble Engineers Push Robotic 'Evolution' to Save Telescope, Enable New ExplorationRobotic technology being developed out of necessity to keep the Hubble Space Telescope operating could also lead to new levels of man-machine team-work in deep-space exploration down the road-if it survives the near-term scramble for funding. Engineers here who have devoted their NASA careers to the concept of humans servicing the telescope in orbit are planning modifications to International Space Station (ISS) robots that would leave the humans on the ground. The work. forced by post-Columbia flight rules that killed a planned shuttle-servicing mission to Hubble, marks another step in the evolution of robot-partners for human space explorers. "Hubble has always been a pathfider for this agency," says Mike Weiss. Hubble deputy program manager technical. "When the space station was flown and assembled, Hubble was the pathfinder. not just for modularity, but for operations, for assembly techniques. Exploration is the next step. Things we're going to do on Hubble are going to be applied to exploration. It's not just putting a robot in space. It's operating a robot in space. It's adapting that robot to what needs to be done the next time you're up there."
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Morring, Frank, Jr. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
September 13, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Aviation Week and Space Technology
Volume: 16
Issue: 10
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
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