SpaceX can be used for Hubble, which will extend the life of the space telescope

SpaceX can be used for Hubble, which will extend the life of the space telescope

It is possible that the Hubble Space Telescope will continue to be maintained by private companies, and it has become known that the United States SpaceX Aerospace Company and NASA will assess the feasibility of using Dragon ships for this purpose. The study will last six months.

Since the launch of Hubble in April 1990, five missions have been dispatched, during which astronauts have been involved in its repair, maintenance and modernization, and the astronauts used Space Shuttle space shuttles to transport the astronauts to Hubble, but the programme was closed in 2011, with Hubble's last service being provided in 2009.

On 29 September, NASA announced a joint study with SpaceX to explore the possibility of sending the Dragon spacecraft to Hubble in order to, among other things, enhance its orbit.

Jessica Jensen, Vice-President for Client Management and Integration in SpaceX, explained during a press conference that the parties were planning to do so. She added that consideration would also be given to launching the Dragon Hubble mission without astronauts.

Because of the resistance to the atmosphere, Hubble's orbit has decreased slightly in 33 years. The telescope is now orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 540 km, which is about 60 km below its initial orbit. Therefore, the probability of its falling to Earth by 2037 has increased to 50%. NASA reported that the return of Hubble to its original orbit with a height of 600 km would potentially allow the space observatory to continue operating for another 15 to 20 years.