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AUSTIN, Texas — The orbiting space telescope that just won't quit collecting gobs of celestial data well beyond its expected twilight is set for a major tune-up and upgrade, NASA scientists announced today here at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
This servicing mission will be the Hubble Space Telescope's fifth and last.
Word today is that the Space Shuttle Atlantis could lift off in August with a crew of seven astronauts and cargo of equipment, tools and new instruments for Hubble. But that launch date could change. "That's dependent upon the shuttle flights between now and the servicing mission," said NASA's Alan Stern, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. He added that safety always comes first.