Status Report

Saving Private Hubble / ESA TV Exchanges / 17-09-2004

By SpaceRef Editor
September 16, 2004
Filed under , ,

The next transmission of the ESA TV Service will be:

17-Sep-04 09:00 – 09:15 GMT

Saving Private Hubble

ESA TV Exchanges

Background information on the transmission:

Replay I: 17 September 18:45-19:00 GMT

Replay II: 18 Sepember 13:00 -13:15 GMT

The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990 opened a new window for science. The 11 tonne observatory has allowed astronomers throughout the world to considerably increase our knowledge of the Universe. The telescope was conceived and built jointly by NASA and ESA. It was designed to last 20 years, with regular servicing missions by the Shuttle. Astronauts have thus been four times to repair and upgrade its instruments.

The scientific community has never ceased to praise this exceptional tool. However, the Columbia tragedy in February 2003 had unexpected consequences for Hubble. Following the accident enquiry, flights to the International Space Station became the priority for Shuttle missions when they resume next year. A Hubble mission has also been considered too risky. So the planned servicing mission to change its batteries and gyroscopes before 2008 was cancelled.

NASA has since started to consider proposals for an entirely robotic mission both to repair the telescope and to ensure that it can safely be brought back to Earth when its day finally comes. Today’s transmission features scientists in Munich managing the European branch of the Hubble programme, focusing on Hubble’s immense contribution to space science and an eventual robotic rescue mission.

The programme includes an A-roll of five minutes (split audio – English voiceover) and a B-roll of 8 minutes with clean international sound.

The script is on-line now as a PDF document under

This ESA TV Exchanges feed is transmitted by the European Commission’s “Europe by Satellite” (EbS) service. You can find the complete transmission schedule and download scripts and shot lists, also for ESA TV items, from the EbS Web site at

More background information can be found on

Transmission details:EUTELSAT HOT BIRD at 13° East (DVB/MPEG-2)

Horizontal, F=12,476 MHz (MCPC, Europe by Satellite)

SR=27,500 MS/sec, FEC=3/4

For further information, visit our website at For other enquires, contact Claus Habfast, Tel +31 71 565 3838, Fax +31 71 565 6340, e-mail

SpaceRef staff editor.