Save the Hubble: how to turn doomed the telescope to the first museum in orbit

British engineer in the development of space systems in American NASA in orbit to keep the legendary Observatory, and at the same time to start the study of space.

May 18, 2009 astronaut John Grunsfeld was the last man to walk on the orbital telescope "Hubble".

After completing the most complicated repair mission to the Space Observatory at the altitude of 570 km above the Earth and returning to the Shuttle "Atlantis" Arthur C. Clarke. Through Arthur C. Clarke.

"The only way to determine the boundaries of the possible is to go beyond these boundaries. In this mission we tried some things that … "Hubble" all the best".

The crew let’s go of flying, the telescope into orbit, and the glowing cylinder began to disappeared in the dark space.

Today, the space shuttles are no longer fly, and NASA can not send to "Hubble" another repair mission.

So far everything is normal: the orbital observatory will remain in operation for several more years, continuing to send on the grounds of the new evidence of the magnificence of the Universe.

However, in the next decade of its parts and components will inevitably begin to deteriorate.

"Hubble" one of the most significant scientific undertakings in the history of mankind, doomed to burn in the dense layers of the earth.

He will repeat the fate of many other legendary space objects, created by man-from the first artificial satellite and the capsule with the dog Laika to space stations "Skylab" and "The world".

However, this outcome is the alternative – level of the "impossible".

"In the end for the famous and useful object there is something humiliating" says Stuart, Eaves, Chairman of the British state and the industrial forum Space Information Exchange ("Exchange of space information"), which discusses the issue of space security and infrastructure.

The eaves – engineer for the development of satellites and the expert on space debris. "Is not it better to do what we do with historical ships, planes, cars and trains? he says. – Turn "Hubble" to the museum".

Instead of having to remove it from orbit and down to Earth, Ivz urges to keep the telescope in orbit.

Before sending on "Hubble" the last repair mission, NASA studied the possibility of using the automated observatory for dockings and maintenance work in orbit.

"The satellite can point the telescope in the desired direction and accelerate it to the higher orbit, where it will remain for some more time"- explains, Eaves.

"There is, however, another problem faced by all museum professionals: it is necessary to keep valuable exhibits in the right condition, to save them from destruction under the influence of time and of radiation and to guard against possible collisions with pieces of space debris".

Save the Hubble: how to turn doomed the telescope to the first museum in orbitThe shuttles returned to Earth forever, but in orbit there are many other iconic man-made objects

, Eaves sees the solution to this problem is to run on the same orbit "Hubble" tiny satellite the size of a Shoe box (cubesat, cube-shaped satellite), which will act as a watchman or caretaker.

"You can run a small automatic camera, which will fly around our exhibit and make a video for Museum visitors. This video can be viewed, for example, virtual reality helmet, he says. – We have then, at least, will be preserved documentary footage "Hubble".

The same technology cube-sats can be applied to monitor other legendary space artifacts – for example, the first ever telecommunications satellite "Telstar" launched in 1962, and is still flying in the elliptical orbit at altitudes ranging from 1000 to 5600 kilometres above the Earth, or the oldest of the artificial satellites still in orbit – "Vanguard-1".

"They were launched at the same time as planned for use by the International Space Station, says, Eaves. – High resolution camera would fly around the ISS and watched her as there is no damage to plating, which require urgent repair".

Save the Hubble: how to turn doomed the telescope to the first museum in orbit

"Vanguard-1" the oldest artificial object in orbit – could be attraction for space tourists

But I would not like satellites in low earth orbit, highlights, Eaves.

As NASA plans to return to the moon, there are fears that the crews of the new missions can damage objects left behind on the surface of this satellite of both men and robots.

Recently established a new international organization For All Moonkind (word game: documentary film of 1989 on missions "Apollo" called For All Mankind, "For all mankind". Moon in English "The moon". – Approx. translatorto spread information about this problem.

In particular, the organization proposes that the UN adopted new regulations, which would protect the landers, flags and traces of the astronauts "Apollo" on the surface of the moon.

Although sooner or later the moon will open a museum of its development, you may want to return to Earth.

"I support the idea of ​​preserving objects as well as things such as the footprints of the astronauts, says Stuart, Eaves. But I do not think that the rules should be so strict that".

"One of the most bizarre sentences I’ve ever heard, is to fly to the moon and find all the bags with the feces of the astronauts left there, he says. Space biologists really want to know how long bacteria survive in the human Calais in the cosmic cold and vacuum".

Yes, it would be one of the most unusual Museum exhibits.

Actually lunar artifacts have returned to Earth from the moon. In November 1969 the crew "Apollo 12" carried back to explore camera with auto probe "Surveyor-3" lander made a soft landing on Earth’s satellite in April 1967.

And at first it was assumed that the colony was on the camera.

However, it turned out that these bacteria are likely to have got on camera due to poor hygiene during the study on the Ground.

The probability that in the next 10 years, some of the people could once again set foot on the lunar surface and see the footprints of Neil Armstrong are very high.

And here are the members of the Shuttle crew "Atlantis" in 2009, the last representatives of mankind, who saw the famous "Hubble" in the immediate vicinity? No, not necessarily.

Save the Hubble: how to turn doomed the telescope to the first museum in orbitThe footprints of American astronauts on the moon’s surface is what I would like to keep the history

Future generations should be able to fly around the Earth in a private spaceship and watch the satellites.

Well, in the short term, the opportunity to see the legendary space objects in the form in which they rotate in orbit.

"Some companies are quite seriously discussing the plans for the construction of orbiting space hotels. What orbit they choose to do this?" asks, Eaves.

"If this is the orbit, which rotates "Hubble" then from the Windows of the hotel, you can enjoy the spectacle of our planet, while above it will float sparkling celestial observatory".

To read this article in Russian, are available on the website BBC Future.


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