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Can You Spare a Hubble?

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Can You Spare a Hubble?

Postby skynet » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:22 pm

The picture is never right so we don't need to ask what's wrong with it.

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NASA's been wracked by budgetary concerns as it tries to figure out how to do research into the origins of everything *and* loft human beings into orbit with big rockets. In particular, the space agency has been dealing with cost overruns on the next-generation Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, which have been eating up the science budget.

Now, we get word from the Washington Post that the Department of Defense has gifted two better-than-Hubble telescopes to NASA. That's right. Our military had two, unflown, better-than-Hubble space telescopes just sitting around. This story is almost unbelievable; it feels like a hoax. But it's not.

The U.S. government's secret space program has decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope. Designed for surveillance, the telescopes from the National Reconnaissance Office were no longer needed for spy missions and can now be used to study the heavens.

Of course, like any good gift, these telescopes do come with a catch. NASA has to outfit them with cameras and instruments. NASA also has to come up with the money to pay the scientists to run them. To get that done could take until 2020, the Post says.

This is the state of our military-industrial-scientific complex in miniature: The military has so much money that it has two extra telescopes better than anything civilians have; meanwhile, NASA will need eight years to find enough change in the couches at Cape Canaveral to turn these gifts into something they can use. Anyone else find anything wrong with this state of affairs?

Read More: Hey, Brother, Can You Spare a Hubble? DOD: Sure! Have Two

NASA gets two military spy telescopes for astronomy
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