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NASA Office of Space Science HST-JWST Transition Plan

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2003

The current plans for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing include a mission (SM4) in November 2004 during which two new science instruments will be installed (the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3), a complete set of new gyroscopes will be installed, the Fine Guidance Sensor #3 will be replaced, an aft shroud cooling system for the instruments and new battery modules will be installed as well as other observatory maintenance upgrades. (Note: the precise launch date for SM4 will be affected by the on going investigations into the Columbia accident. Presently, the OSS is proceeding with plans for the November 2004 launch until otherwise directed.)

The planned end-of-mission (EOM) for HST is in 2010. Current plans call for a retrieval of the observatory via the Space Shuttle. However, we a pursuing studies of propulsion modules that could be attached to the observatory (autonomously or by astronauts) and used to de-orbit HST in case the Shuttle retrieval option is eliminated for astronaut safety reasons. Ideally, we will evaluate the performance of the observatory as we approach 2010 and schedule the EOM for when the observatory is no longer producing high quality science data.

NASA has budgeted for these two additional missions to the HST (SM4 and EOM).

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Program is about to enter its phase B (detailed design) stage. The planned launch date for JWST is August 2011. The JWST will have a guest observer (GO) program similar to that of the HST. The call for the first round of JWST GO programs will go out approximately one year before the JWST launch. GO observations will begin approximately 6 months after the JWST launch.

During the time between the HST end-of-mission and initiation of the JWST GO program the Office of Space Science intends to fund HST-related science investigations at the level of the GO plus archival research programs. All proposals will then be archival, but the amount of money available for HST research will remain the same.

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