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Udall Introduces Resolution to Save Hubble Space Telescope

Location: Washington, DC

States News Service, March 3, 2004
Copyright 2004 States News Service
States News Service

March 3, 2004 Wednesday


BYLINE: States News Service



Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., ranking Democrat on the House Science Committee, issued the following press release:

Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced a House resolution urging that an independent panel review NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe's decision not to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope, thus condemning the Hubble to a premature death. The resolution also urges NASA to continue planning for Hubble's next servicing mission as NASA develops its inspection and repair capability, which will enable shuttles to fly both to the International Space Station and to the Hubble Space Telescope. Reps. Todd Akin (R-MO), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Bart Gordon (D-TN), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Nick Lampson (D-TX), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) joined Rep. Udall as original cosponsors.

Rep. Udall stated: "My goal in introducing this resolution is simple - I want to call attention to the Hubble Space Telescope's contributions to scientific research and education and ensure that any decision affecting its future is made carefully and seriously and for the right reasons. Precisely because of Hubble's extraordinary contributions in the past and promised contributions in the future, I also believe it is important that the decision to cancel the planned servicing mission to Hubble be reviewed by an independent panel of experts and all options for safely carrying it out be examined.

"I also want to try to ensure that preparations for the servicing mission continue at least until the panel comes up with its recommendations and until NASA provides its timetable for complying with recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report relating to on-orbit inspection and repair, since NASA's compliance will allow both a Hubble servicing mission and a mission to the International Space Station to be carried out safely.

"Hubble's scientific contributions continue to amaze us all, year in and year out. Hubble remains one of the most productive scientific instruments in history, and certainly NASA's most productive scientific mission, accounting for 35 percent of all its discoveries in the last 20 years.

"This resolution will be welcomed by scientists and interested citizens in this country and around the world who understand that Hubble is a national treasure that we should not abandon. The potential gains from extending Hubble's life are real and achievable - and I believe we should not arbitrarily cancel the servicing mission without exploring all options for safely carrying it out."

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