Hubble's Hope: I, Robot

The endangered Hubble Space Telescope may have life yet, thanks to a NASA-sponsored program to develop a robot that could be its remote-control savior. For all the yeoman's work Hubble has done--peering deeper into the universe and farther back in time than eyes or earthbound instruments had ever managed--its prospects looked bleak a few months ago. The telescope was facing eventual loss of power and gyroscope failure, which would cut short its life-span by years. But given President Bush's ambitious plans for a manned moon and Mars program, NASA was looking for projects to chop. A shuttle mission to service the...

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