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NASA seeks ideas to use Hubble-class spy telescopes

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posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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I'm sure most of you remember a while back when the news broke that the NRO National Reconnaissance Office had found a couple HUBBLE class spy telescopes sitting in mothballs in one of their warehouses. And so kindly gifted them to NASA.

Well NASA is now looking for ideas on what to use them for. It looks like they have already got a use for one of them locked on. But now they are asking the scientific community at large for suggestions for the second one.

Spaceflight Now


One of the donated telescopes could be used for the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or WFIRST, designed to probe dark energy and detect exoplanets. WFIRST was ranked by the National Research Council as the top priority for NASA's astrophysics program after completion of the James Webb Space Telescope, a flagship $8.8 billion project due for launch in 2018. Based on NASA's budget projections, and before the gifting of the NRO telescopes, officials said the earliest WFIRST could launch was 2024. Scientists foresee the WFIRST mission advancing research into Earth-like planets around other stars, charting the expansion of the universe, and producing the deepest all-sky map of the cosmos in near-infrared wavelengths.


But the second one will be decided by a panel in February.


The call for proposals issued Tuesday seeks information on concepts to use the NRO telescopes for astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary sciences and human spaceflight missions, according to NASA.


So, what project do you folks think the telescopes should be used for?




posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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I hope it will be a visible-light telescope, because the Hubble isn't going to last forever, and we have plenty of infrared telescopes. In fact, I don't know of any visible-light space telescope apart from the Hubble, and the Hubble is being worked like a horse. The more visible light telescopes we have up there, the more available they are to the scientific community, students, or even members of the public.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


I got two suggestions

- Give it to SETI group

- Give it to NEO study Groups



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:34 PM
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Use it like a magnifying glass to burn a large "Property of the USA" on the surface of the moon that can be seen from Earth.


Seriously though...use it in unison with other telescopes to map more of our immense universe.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by Spacespider
 


While I think it would be cool if they gave it to SETI, the last I heard they were fighting just to keep their radio-telescope array running.

Searching for NEOs would probably be the most responsible use for it though.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:57 PM
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They seriously need to throw some WIFI on one of them so we can watch space LIVE on a Nasa stream...

Or have one of them pointing back at Earth so we can just watch our planet exist in the cosmos...

I just want a TV show of the universe dammit..



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


No worries, I know its a made up story due to the fact it says we're doomed by an asteroid on 21st Dec 2012, if it's a satire web site then thanks for letting me know!

I'm young and new, I have much to learn!



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by Mrskyblueworld
reply to post by ngchunter
 


No worries, I know its a made up story due to the fact it says we're doomed by an asteroid on 21st Dec 2012, if it's a satire web site then thanks for letting me know!

I'm young and new, I have much to learn!


So you know we are doomed by an asteroid yet you sign up for an account here to waste your last few weeks alive by reading conspiracies? LOL!



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by watchitburn
So, what project do you folks think the telescopes should be used for?
Maybe this is too simple, but how about using it to replace the Hubble when the hubble space telescope dies?

Hubble Space Telescope

There is no direct successor to the Hubble as an ultraviolet and visible-light space telescope, as near-term space telescopes do not duplicate Hubble's wavelength coverage (near-ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths), instead concentrating on the farther infrared bands. These bands are preferred for studying high redshift and low-temperature objects, objects generally older and farther away in the universe. These wavelengths are also difficult or impossible to study from the ground, justifying the expense of a space-based telescope. Large ground-based telescopes can image some of the same wavelengths as Hubble, sometimes challenge HST in terms of resolution (via adaptive optics), have much larger light-gathering power, and can be upgraded more easily, but cannot yet match the Hubble's excellent resolution over a wide field of view with the very dark background of space.
"There is no direct successor to the Hubble ". Well, maybe there should be, and that might be a good use?



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 02:59 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


The James Webb Space Telescope JWST is going to be the successor, rather than a replacement, to Hubble. Though it's primary focus will be in the IR spectrum, which is needed to see through dust clouds that shroud the oldest galaxies from being directly visible. It will still be able to send us visible light images.

JWST compared to Hubble



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 

According to that link, JWST covers red and yellow, meaning it doesn't image most of the visible spectrum. There are lots of other colors, right?



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



with some capability in the visible range (in particular in the red and up to the yellow part of the visible spectrum).


I agree it is not the optimum, but I don't think we are going to get our cake and eat it too.
Red and yellow are still visible though.

SpaceX is planning a Mars colony, would you go?

Maybe once the Mars station is set up, they will build a telescope there?









 
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