Press Release

Mikulski Calls New Hubble Report “Enormously Encouraging”

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2004
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Washington, D.C. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) today praised the Interim Report of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on the Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Senators Mikulski and Kit Bond (Ranking Member and Chairman of the VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee which funds NASA) requested that NASA contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct an independent review of the risks and benefits of a Hubble servicing mission (see letter attached) before a final decision was made to cancel the next servicing mission to the telescope.

Below is Senator Mikulski’s statement on the National Academy of Science’s interim report, which was released today.

“The preliminary assessment of the National Academy of Sciences is enormously encouraging. Hubble is the greatest scientific instrument since Galileo‚’s telescope. It should not be abandoned without a thorough, independent, and rigorous review by the experts. That’s what the panel is doing. I thank them for their service.

“This preliminary assessment strongly recommends another servicing mission to Hubble to extend its life and to extend its vision into space. It urges NASA not to preclude the use of the shuttle for this mission, while encouraging robust study of a robotic mission. I support these recommendations.

“As ranking member of the subcommittee that funds NASA, I will work with my colleagues to ensure adequate resources for NASA to return to flight. We must do everything humanly and technologically possible to ensure astronaut safety regardless of where we go in space, whether it is the space station or Hubble.”

SpaceRef staff editor.