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Another servicing mission to extend Hubble space telescope's science past the next decade

AuthorsLópez-Morales, Mercedes; Diego, José María ; Arribas-Mocoroa, Santiago ; García-Villadangos, Miriam ; Labiano, Álvaro ; Maíz Apellániz, Jesús
Issue Date2019
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
CitationBulletin of the American Astronomical Society 51(7): 96 (2019)
AbstractThe Hubble Space Telescope has produced astonishing science over the past thirty years. Hubble's productivity can continue to soar for years to come provided some worn out components get upgraded. While powerful new ground-based and space telescopes are expected to come online over the next decade, none of them will have the UV capabilities that make Hubble a unique observatory. Without Hubble, progress in UV and blue optical astrophysics will be halted. Observations at these wavelengths are key for a range of unresolved astrophysics questions, ranging from the characterization of solar system planets to understanding interaction of galaxies with the intergalactic medium and the formation history of the universe. Hubble will remain our only source of high-angular resolution UV imaging and high-sensitivity UV spectroscopy for the next two decades, offering the ability for continued unique science and maximizing the science return from complementary observatories. Therefore, we recommend that NASA, ESA, and the private sector study the scientific merit, technical feasibility, and risk of a new servicing mission to Hubble to boost its orbit, fix aging components, and expand its instrumentation. Doing so would: 1) keep Hubble on its path to reach its unmet full potential, 2) extend the mission's lifetime past the next decade, which will maximize the synergy of Hubble with other upcoming facilities, and 3) enable and enhance the continuation of scientific discoveries in UV and optical astrophysics.
DescriptionWhite Paper Astro2020 Decadal Survey APC papers: et al.
Identifierse-issn: 0002-7537
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