News FocusAstronomy

A Reprieve—and Risk

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Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 719
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_719

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Juggling 60 new tools, wrestling with more than 100 pesky screws, and dodging countless micrometeoroids, the crew of the Atlantis orbiter aims to refurbish the Hubble Space Telescope during five feverish days. The astronauts' task in orbit, however, is just the tail end of a long and bitter battle that began in 2004, in the wake of the Columbia disaster, when NASA officials decided that returning to the $1.5 billion Hubble posed an unacceptable risk to astronauts and the space shuttle.