RanTom Thoughts/20040818 Replace Hubble?
Bruce Moomaw on Space Daily makes an interesting Case Against Hubble arguing that it might be more feasible to completely replace Hubble. Rather than sending the replacement instruments to repair Hubble, NASA could build new telescopes around them and launch the new ones instead.
First, the robotic repair mission is probably going to cost even more than the shuttle servicing mission would have. However, a couple of replacement telescopes could be launched for still cheaper than both repair missions.
Second, two replacement telescopes would allow Scientists to double the science return since they could target two objects at once.
Third, new telescopes could make use of new technology and be able to reset the 'scope lifetime clock, rather than just extending an aging instrument at the end of its life for another 4 years.
Personally, I like this idea. While it doesn't help develop technologies for future work, it is the best scientific return for the money. When NASA is soaking up more and more money for manned spaceflight, a little money-saving would be a Good Thing™