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6 hours ago, Beccab said:

That design change has been abandoned at the moment it seems yea. Part of the reason is that it would make catching Starship harder because of the position of the hardpoints, while another reason is speculated to be the smaller payload bay door that 120⁰ flaps would create

I’m still skeptical about their catching plans. But the smaller payload bay does present an issue. And I’m also sure that they aren’t exactly upset about having the extra control authority. If something goes amiss on descent, that extra wiggle room (no pun intended) could mean the difference between an RUD and a picture-perfect landing.

4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Could Starship be modified to use the Space Shuttle's payload retention system, to allow it to recover Hubble? Or perhaps even some ISS modules.

In this case it is less about the suitability of the vehicle and more about the suitability of the payload. Hubble can’t fold its solar panels up and slide back into Starship any more than it could have with the Shuttle. Similarly, the ISS modules originally lofted by the Shuttle are (largely) now permanently fixed to the rest of the ISS; it’s not straightforward to move them. 

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

In this case it is less about the suitability of the vehicle and more about the suitability of the payload. Hubble can’t fold its solar panels up and slide back into Starship any more than it could have with the Shuttle. Similarly, the ISS modules originally lofted by the Shuttle are (largely) now permanently fixed to the rest of the ISS; it’s not straightforward to move them. 

Solar panels can be removed/cut off. Even end-of-life modules could be somewhat roughly “uninstalled,” the goal is a museum piece, not a fully functional unit. There’s plenty of precedent of doing similar with aircraft, a la the Spruce Goose, doing so in space would be an evolution of that. Question is, what’s Starship’s Earth downmass?

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9 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Solar panels can be removed/cut off. Even end-of-life modules could be somewhat roughly “uninstalled,” the goal is a museum piece, not a fully functional unit. There’s plenty of precedent of doing similar with aircraft, a la the Spruce Goose, doing so in space would be an evolution of that. Question is, what’s Starship’s Earth downmass?

It's not clear yet, but Hubble's ~10 tons should definitely be within the limit

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Solar panels can be removed/cut off.

Easier said than done. That would probably be the most complex space construction task done to date. I doubt they were designed to be removed. Most other space construction projects were very carefully designed in advance to be done. Maybe fixing Skylab was harder? Not sure.

The ISS was all designed to be put together as easily as possible.

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2 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Easier said than done. That would probably be the most complex space construction task done to date. I doubt they were designed to be removed. Most other space construction projects were very carefully designed in advance to be done. Maybe fixing Skylab was harder? Not sure.

The ISS was all designed to be put together as easily as possible.

I do believe Skylab would be harder, since while it was too not designed to be repaired in orbit the sheer size of the station and the sun shield installed as well as very limited technologies makes it more impressive

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5 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Easier said than done. That would probably be the most complex space construction task done to date. I doubt they were designed to be removed. Most other space construction projects were very carefully designed in advance to be done. Maybe fixing Skylab was harder? Not sure.

Yeah, very true. It would also need a crew vehicle, since someone has to cut the panels, deal with the inevitable issues securing it, etc.

 

 

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9 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Easier said than done. That would probably be the most complex space construction task done to date. I doubt they were designed to be removed. Most other space construction projects were very carefully designed in advance to be done. Maybe fixing Skylab was harder? Not sure.

The ISS was all designed to be put together as easily as possible.

IIRC Hubble’s panels have already been replaced once as part of a servicing mission, seems reasonable they could be removed again. Not an easy prospect, but things worth doing often are not. SpaceX is already working on crew accommodations,  commercial EVAs, and most of the other building blocks required.

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Not sure what the point would be with Hubble. It would make more sense to send up a better telescope for the science aspect, and if there is concern about it as an artifact, send a robot to boost it to a better orbit if needed, and it can be dealt with later.

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3 hours ago, tater said:

Not sure what the point would be with Hubble. It would make more sense to send up a better telescope for the science aspect, and if there is concern about it as an artifact, send a robot to boost it to a better orbit if needed, and it can be dealt with later.

Why deal with it later if it could be deal with "now?" That's the kind of possibility Starship opens up. Bring it home, put it in a museum, hopefully before everyone who watched it launch is dead. :D

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18 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Why deal with it later if it could be deal with "now?" That's the kind of possibility Starship opens up. Bring it home, put it in a museum, hopefully before everyone who watched it launch is dead. :D

I guess. It seems like a crew mission, however. So 2 Starships required.

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3 hours ago, tater said:

Not sure what the point would be with Hubble. It would make more sense to send up a better telescope for the science aspect, and if there is concern about it as an artifact, send a robot to boost it to a better orbit if needed, and it can be dealt with later.

I was asking based on a question from the "Questions That Don't Merit Their Own Thread" thread. There was a proposal for the last Hubble servicing mission to be a recovery mission instead, and it would then be displayed at the National Air and Space Museum. Starship brings back an opportunity for that to happen. Someone would need to fund of course.

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It's kind of amazing to me about how sentimental people are about the Hubble Space Telescope, compared to all the other space probes before and since.

Goes to show, I guess, the value people place on pretty pictures. We are a very visually-oriented species.

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28 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

It's kind of amazing to me about how sentimental people are about the Hubble Space Telescope, compared to all the other space probes before and since.

Goes to show, I guess, the value people place on pretty pictures. We are a very visually-oriented species.

I think Hubble's a bit unique in that 1) It's still close to earth, and 2) still operational, and 3) it's famous to people of today.

Here's a probably-silly idea:  Launch a hubble replacement on SS into the same orbit, and recover Hubble on the same mission!

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On 2/24/2022 at 5:39 PM, mikegarrison said:

Goes to show, I guess, the value people place on pretty pictures. We are a very visually-oriented species

This is so true. 

Beyond that, however, is how accessible Hubble made Space to the average Joe.  Much of the actual work done by astronomers is looking at numbers and graphs of wave forms and other things that don't readily communicate what they're seeing to most people.  But those pretty pictures along with the stories of what is happening and why it's important did. 

Shuttle and Hubble did for my generation what the Moon landings did for my parents... And I don't think we'd have the funding for everything we are currently doing and capable of doing were it not for how relatable those two systems made Space and Astronomy 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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I never really get this obsession with specific inanimate objects, I don't seem to share it to the extent that others do. Hubble is a tool, it's no more important than any one of the many hammers used to build the launch tower it was released from. And yes I fully realize someone is going to come along to explain how vitally important it is we save all the hammers that were used for building said launch tower. :sad:

I have no problem with calling any plans to retrieve Hubble "utter lunacy" and I will stand by that, and I sincerely hope nobody who is ever in a position to make decisions about this thinks any differently. I would be hard pressed to come up with a more wasteful idea w.r.t. space exploration funds and resources even if I tried really hard. Foregoing clean room conditions, mirror/lens precision requirements and space hardening you could literally build a perfectly adequate educational mock-up of Hubble for every single space museum on earth, and have money to spare to send up your next telescope.

The design process of Hubble was important, so stick those design schematics and plans in every museum. The data it generated is important, so stick those pretty deep field pictures in every museum. The telescope itself is not important, it is a tool as long as it works, and garbage when it does not anymore. Do we really want to ferry garbage back to earth at double the cost of a mission to send up a new tool? Incidentally, it's no coincidence that both the design schematics and processes as well as the scientific data could easily be copied and shared all over the world, but the telescope itself cannot. In science, if it can't be shared, it's worth precisely nothing.

 

1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Shuttle and Hubble did for my generation what the Moon landings did for my parents... And I don't think we'd have the finding for everything we are currently doing and capable of doing were it not for how relatable those two systems made Space and Astronomy 

It's an interesting example to bring up, because the major source of inspiration out of the Apollo missions that still lives on is the Earthrise picture. Not the capsule it was taken from, not the camera it was taken with (although I'm sure that is stuck in a single specific museum somewhere too and gets many oohs and ahhs from the few people why paid to see it), but the picture itself. Which hangs in every space museum on earth.

 

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4 hours ago, Beamer said:

perfectly adequate educational mock-up

Adequate for what? For showing people what the actual HST looked like? I went to Houston, and I saw one of the Apollo capsules that orbited the Moon. I saw a piece of history. Mock-ups are not history. I saw a lot of mock-ups, too, but none of them supplied any portion of the same feelings. People like to see the real deal, not a forgery or replacement goldfish.

4 hours ago, Beamer said:

but the telescope itself cannot. In science, if it can't be shared, it's worth precisely nothing.

The telescope is infungible. Is fungibility the only measure of value? Not at all. Try telling the Brits they can have a mock-up of Buckingham Palace, or the Catholics that they can have a mock-up of St. John Lateran. It doesn't work. So this is a false dichotomy.

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