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Hubble To Continue As Eye On The Sky

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Greetings, gentle Readers.

In the midst of all the shit surrounding the American election cycle, there comes a single shining gem on the horizon of our night sky.

On Tuesday, money and shuttle schedule were adjusted to include resources to repair and even upgrade one of the great marvels of the Space Age — the Hubble Telescope.

The debate has gone back and forth this past year, as some problems have shown up for the big eye in the sky.

Some folks wanted to just junk the Hubble, and let its capabilities fade away, but any who have checked its images cannot fail to be awed by what this device has shown us about the cosmos beyond our tiny mudball.

Check out the Hubble site, have a look around. The image gallery is truly a marvel, and yer gonzo always recommends the wallpapers for adorning your desktop with the wonders of Space.

Now, I know there are some folks out there who consider Space and all that is involved with our learning and exploration of it, a waste of time and money.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

So many good things have come from the research involved with our Space program, that it would boggle your Mind to take it all in — from advances in medical technology to the very computer you are reading this article on.

Think about that the next time some fool tries to tell you “it’s a waste.”

I’ll leave yas all with a gun little mash up of images from the Hubble, set to music, the first image is my current desktop:

Via: VideoSift

Sound off on what ya think, and as always, thanks for reading.


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About gonzo marx

  • YOU BRAT!! I was within hours of publishing my own article on this!

    Good read Gonzo…

    /skulks away mumbling jealously

  • By the way, nothing can be more than 3000 or so light years away because the universe is only that old… ask any intelligen design freak.



  • heh…glad ya liked it Jet

    hope the video made ya go “wow” like it did me

    and no worries, from now on it’s all yours, i been Edited…no mad, no bad, and no worries

    but so ends a noble Experiment


  • duane

    Well, that was a fun ride, gonzo. Set to Tool, no less.

    To answer yer question, I’m all for the right kind of space exploration, and I’m happy to pay my taxes to support it. But, as you know, unmanned space exploration is going down the tubes because of this Bush Mars nonsense.

    A distinction needs to be made between manned and unmanned exploration. The science/cost ratio of manned exploration is diddly squat, whereas unmanned exploration has shown us the wonders of the universe, and relatively inexpensively. Until there is some clear scientific/economic/military reason why we should go to Mars, I say scrap the whole idea and pour the money into more robotic spacecraft. The visions of Ben Bova are insufficient reason to sacrifice more missions like Hubble, COBE, Chandra, Cassini, etc.

    Ride the spiral, man.

  • thanks, Duane…glad ya enjoyed the “Show”

    i’m of mixed thinking when it comes to manned exploration

    on the one hand, we have indeed gotten quite a lot out of the Apollo missions…look at the advances that were made in medical telemetry, if nothing else

    on the other hand, when you have to choose…unmanned stuff could be argued to be more cost efficient

    my Thinking is to do the unmanned stuff first, then send people…cuz people can do so much more once they are there

    not to mention all the new Science that comes from solving the problems of sending human beings into space…especially long term flights

    how much will we discover if we try and solve the Problem of keeping people alive in a closed environment for the time it would take to set up a lunar base, or go to Mars?

    much food for Thought, eh?

    gonna miss *talking* with ya , duane… if ever ya want yer gonzo, underscore between first and last names at the hotmail place

    :::bows, hand over fist:::

    keep rockin’!


  • troll

    as we might well have to bug out of here before long I’m for manned exploration from the get go

    great vidie gonzo

  • thanks troll, good to *hear* from ya on this

    the same sentiments and invitation extended to duane holds for you as well…anytime

    side note: for those with an Interest, the lyrics playing in video are an almost perfect Expression for what i’ve tried to do around here

    and if i’ve gotten even one person to “go where no one’s been”… then i’m a happy gonzo

    objects in mirror are closer than they appear


  • great article gonzo…loved the show too…

    and I’m all about space exploration, I understand the advances the technology has provided in areas such as medical science.

    I just wish the same time, money, and energy would be put into fixing our problems here on earth first…or at least, at the same time, but with the same amount of passion.

    maybe I’m old-school…maybe its the ‘mom’ in me, but I have trouble with billions and billions of dollars being spent on trying to get into outer space, when children go to bed hungry within every city of our country, including our nations capital. it doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • thanks Chantal, and you make a very excellent point

    many things about spending don’t make sense, and i readily agree that some priorities are completely fucked

    my Thought on why this Science is crucial, is that pure Research ALWAYS pays off, usually in ways not expected

    but everything we spend on Space is just a drop in the bucket compared to say…Iraq… or corporate welfare/subsidies

    that’s the Job our Congress is supposed to do, figure out the Priorities to do the best for the Nation

    i agree, it’s a Pity those miserable pigfuckers can’t seem to do the Job correctly


  • Bennett

    Hey ‘Ol Bean,

    Good stuff on some very good news! What folks have to realize is that the usa could stop all spending on science, the arts, education, etc, and there would STILL be children starving throughout the world.

    As long as there are crackwhores, or maniacal dictators wantin to ‘cleanse’, kids will starve. Life is harsh. But that’s no reason to abandon the Quest, is it?

    How were you edited? Here, or in some other comments section? No surprise there, always disappointing tho…

    I’ve been away for a while, and only returned to see the new layout, which is a VAST improvement. The last layout sucked so hard that even Liberace sat up and took notice.

    Hope all’s well at the round house!


  • heyas Bennett, long time no viddy, my droogie…

    hope all goes well for you and yours

    i understand what you mean about the $$ and the hunger..it’s always been my Thought that the government is incapable of solving many problems, by the very Nature of the problems

    but that funding Science research and Space exploration are some things that the government IS uniquely suited to do

    we will see, the folks running DC go back and forth on it, depending on the Administration,,,hence my Amazon link choice

    in the book, a private Citizen finagles financing for funding further forays to the Moon

    after Bush’s pronouncement that the U.S. *owns* space…i fear that private enterprise may not ever take us out There…but you know there will be Conflict on that one some day

    when it comes to space exploration, there may not be any Intelligent Life in Washington…

    but there definitely is in Tokyo…or Beijing

    shout me any time, Bennett me brudder…


  • duane

    I grew up in the ’60s reading Boy’s Life magazine with their articles about how cool the future was going to be. Supercities with gleaming skyscrapers, levitating remote controlled autos, space stations, labs on Mercury, etc. The 1990s or so was when this future would arrive.

    Remember the Monsanto house in Tomorrowland at Disneyland?

    Then with the early Mercury missions, followed by spacewalks by the Gemini astronauts, then touching down on the Moon in 1969. Things were moving pretty fast, right? It looked as though “the future” would arrive on schedule.

    But in my old age, I think what has been missing in all the lore of manned space travel is a solid motivation. Some of you support “going offworld” as a natural extension of the spread of civilization, or see it as an escape from a dying world in the distant future. I hear former astronauts comparing themselves to Columbus and the other explorers of old, which sounds disingenuous to me. They try to utter profundities about mankind’s inherent need to explore, but have a very limited definition of what the term “explore” refers to.

    Anyway, I have this conflict. The kid part of me is excited about adventures in space, but the adult part of me sees no real reason to be spending time, money, and intellectual resources on manned space travel. And the real gotcha is that space research is a zero-sum game, as currently played by the federal government.

    Which leads me to …

    While I was growing up, I thought astronomy was restricted to the process of looking through a telescope and naming constellations and whatnot. Astro (star) – nomy (name). I thought the pretty pictures were cool, like most people. But little did I realize (and little would I have cared) that behind all the hoopla of manned space travel, isolated pockets of scientists and engineers were dreaming up new ways to observe the universe from above the atmosphere. I could not have guessed that things like the age, size, shape, beginning, evolution, and destiny of the whole Universe were within reach in my lifetime. That is the most profound spin-off of manned space travel. Without NASA and the moon program, the space station, and the space shuttle, there would have been very little space science of any kind. It is simply too expensive without tax money. And this fact is conceded by scientists involved in robotic space exploration. They used the table scraps of the manned space program to fund their paltry orbiters and planetary flyby missions.

    The surprising thing is that the unmanned programs have been, in all, a stunning success. Stunning. And I wonder if the average taxpayer gives a damn. NASA needs to tout the manned program to the public, i.e., Congress, in order to survive. So it would seem. When you see NASA activities being covered by CNN, what do you see? A president can come along and have a “vision” of what space exploration should entail, and stomp the entire status quo into the ground … just like that. JFK did a good thing. Bush did a bad thing.

    So, a few questions for you all:

    1) Why do we need a manned program?

    2) Are you willing to sacrifice unmanned exploration to fund manned exploration?

    3) Do you care about the scientific results brought to us by unmanned vehicles? If so, why?

    4) Would you be willing to have your taxes increased to pay for both unmanned exploration and a long-term Mars mission simultaneously? Say $50 per year per capita.

  • wow duane…once again you hit the nut

    1) as i said earlier, manned flights extend the Science , especially biology and the engineering to solve the problems inherent to such travel…

    and there’s always the “why climb Mt Everest” bit

    and the fact that things like Hubble would not only not be there without Man’s direct work in space, but the repairs and upgrades can’t be done by machines alone

    2) nope, not willing to sacrifice it, both need to be worked together… take the example of those doughty lil Mars rovers and all the great stuff they have done to show us our Neighbor…and pave the Way for Men to go look for themselves

    3) yep… the expansion of our Knowledge in astrophysics alone makes so many of the programs worthwhile… add satellites and what they have done for communication…the Wonders directly observed by Hubble and Spitzer… pure Research ALWAYS pays off, mebbe not how expected, but it always does…History proves the axiom

    4) yes

    thanks duane…it’s folks like you in the Sciences who make all of this kind of shit possible, and i, for one, SALUTE ya all


  • duane

    Thanks for the reply, gonzo. I have a few nits to pick with you, if you’re up to it. But I have to run off for awhile. Baby needs a new pair of shoes. Back later.

  • no worries duane, i look forward to the Conversation

    so pick at nits as ya see fit

    i’ll be around as long as any of my Threads get action, my addiction to the Conversation is gonna be a tough one to break

    just spent the morning reading over all my Posts, and the wonderful comments that ensued, and come to the conclusion that it’s been well worth it to have at least tried…more Power to the Big E and Phillip for keeping BC going

    but i digress


  • Wow! I, too, thought of writing up the good news but was/am buried under a pile of government forms to keep our residency here and I thought someone else would do it better.

    You did! In spades with the great video of Hubble images.

    I just put the article on Digg.com under Space. The video was a wonderful interlude.


  • troll

    (I’d like to see the origional form…how ’bout posting it in a comment – ?)

  • Jewels

    Great tune with the video! How anyone with even half a brain could think we should do away with the Hubble…oh yeah, I said half a brain, the capacity found amongst many without any interest in astronomy.

    Such beauty; amazing sights we would not have the gift of visual without the Hubble. Thanks for this creative and lovely bit of arts and science. I really enjoyed it. (I’m staying out of the political aspects at this time. 😉 )

  • duane

    Gonzo, the specific example of Hubble is interesting. It had to be designed to fit into the Shuttle bay, and was intentionally put into a fairly low Earth orbit so that it could be serviced by astronauts. After the Challenger disaster, Hubble got put into drydock. Costs began to accrue. With all the expenses totaled, it has been estimated that 7 Hubble spacecraft could have been built and launched, with no need for the expensive servicing missions. There simply could have been seven Hubbles, each with different types of instrument configurations, each put into a high orbit, which increases its science output (larger duty cycle, fewer pointing restrictions) and its lifetime (no atmospheric drag).

    You said: “…manned flights extend the Science, especially biology and the engineering to solve the problems inherent to such travel.”

    This is true. There are tons of problems that scientists and engineers have encountered and come up with workable solutions in the interest of keeping our astronauts safe. No doubt, there is a lot of knowledge that has been gained about the effects of space travel on the human physiology. But this is somewhat circular reasoning.

    Q: Why do we want to go into space?
    A: So we can learn about going into space.

    It’s not quite enough.

    That’s my main nit. I know the Everest thing, but Everest expeditions don’t cost trillions of dollars.

  • ok…take a few hours away, and folks actually read things!!

    Howard…thanks..high praise indeed, and i’m glad ya enjoyed the swansong! now it’s up to you to post the space type stuff….heh

    troll… it feels like it would be rude, just center justify…use my style of punctuation and capitalization rather than the homogenized…

    Jewels…glad ya enjoyed, and hopefully got a smile, that was the whole purpose

    and duane… i hear ya on the hideous cost over runs, but that is due more form the waste in the fucked up system at the time more than anything else… the olde skewl NASA ran a much tighter ship, and i think we need to examine that, and get back to the level that the program shoudl be…not the current bullshit

    as for the scientific advances, it ain’t just the effects on physiology in space we are talking here… so much has come from it just in the medical and miniaturization fields

    take oh…Cheney’s pacemaker, and ALL of medical telemetry… directly from the Apollo program

    also, for an extended flight, to Mars, let us say, you get the whole problem of eco-management that woudl be required for what…up to 2 years, depending on the orbit and mission length?

    what can working on those problems teach us about our own ecosystem here on Earth? and as awesome as the Mars rovers are…can’t human scientists actually there do better?

    now, don’t get me wrong…space station first, then moon base…THEN Mars… do it sanely, and build up to it…

    as for the economics of it all, as i said, pure Research ALWAYS pays off bigger then anticipated (even if not always in the way anticipated)

    there’s a Reason for the book i chose for the Amazon link… those not familiar might want to pick it up if this kind of thing interests ya

    in it, private enterprise pays for the Trip..and winds up making money down the road

    what with some folks getting into space flight in the private sector…maybe that will work out

    i’m hoping the Lunar colony has an American flag

    but if not, bet yer ass they will be speaking Chinese


  • SonnyD

    Gonzo: I, too, was happy to hear about Hubble being maintained and even improved. I have two RSS feeds that I get pictures from for my desktop. Sorry, I won’t be able to share your video, but my sorry 28.8K telephone line takes forever to download from You Tube and my sound system isn’t working so I wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway.

    I’m even more sorry to hear about your decision caused by the editing disagreement. At least when you write you have something intelligent to say and you are willing to hold a civil discussion with others who hold views that differ from yours. It boggles the imagination that the editors can demand that everyone must use the same exact writing style, yet, they will publish a piece that has, shall we say, no redeeming social value.

    One such piece, in particular, I’ve been grumbling to myself over for a while. It was four short paragraphs of a rant usually found in the comments section. Each paragraph contained smutty trash talk that sounded more like the language used by teen aged boys trying to impress each other than it did an adult writing a serious article intended to communicate his thoughts to other adults. I won’t name the author of that piece, I would probably get edited, but you might remember it. I believe you commented on it.

    Are you going to be writing anywhere else where I might run across you? I’ve been getting sort of burned out here with the way things are going, anyway. Too much lunatic fringe and not enough serious writing, at least in the Politics section where I spend the most time.

    Anyway, best of luck to you.

    D. Shaffer

  • Gadfry Daniels, Gonzo, what are you talking about? and no worries, from now on it’s all yours, i been Edited…no mad, no bad, and no worries

    what happened and don’t you dare go away…’splain yerself, laddie.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • ah SonnyD..good to *hear* from ya

    anytime ya want me, just hit one of my Threads, and i’ll ALWAYS respond

    other than that..i ain’t getting into it, just what i said before, i completely understand and Respect the decision… i’m just too fucking stubborn to compromise on my own egotistical Vision

    glad ya liked the Article, and good to hear ya appreciate the Space program..no real suprise there…

    come back and check this again when ya have a better connection, and sound… it thought the embedded piece makes the whole thing, kind of trying to create a new mixed media vibe as well as my typographical Trickery…

    all my Best to you and yours Sonny, always a Pleasure…even when we disAgree

    and Mark me boyo… sure’n now laddie, no worries.. check yer e-mail


  • Sorry the noble experiment has been abandonned, gonzo.

    For what it’s worth, as it is edited, this is a perfectly readable; and respectable piece of reportage. Nothing to be ashamed of.


  • thanks Dave,

    and i Agree that it’s fine the way it came out

    it just ain’t me, and you know what a stubborn fucker i am when it comes to Principle

    as i said, no complaints, no worries, no bad, and no mad.. i completely Understand and Respect the Policy

    it just doesn’t *fit* what i try and do…


    all that being said, did ya like the video?


    :::imagining Dave’s head exploding at the music:::


  • glad the hubble is gonna stay around for a while longer…seemed kinda silly to just ler her float away and die after all she’s given us over the years…at least after her corrective lenses were fitted!

    Not a bad read gonzo…I know what you mean about the editing thing…they took all my dot dot dot’s out the last time I wrote on here…

    they got all high fallutin’ around here the last year or so…still fun to read some of the stuff though. I guess only ee cummings can get away with being unique…everybody else has to follow the rules…and rules suck…but you knew that.

    I’ve always enjoyed your writing style. And the tone in your “voice” most of the time…you should never go away…you have to much wisdom to share with those of us less learned…but I know how to find you..and you know how to find me. Come down to VA some time…I’ll take ya fishing!

    Did you put that video together? It really is incredible!

  • heyas Andy my homey…

    glad ya liked the bit, and nope..the video wasn’t me

    something i mentioned somewhere else (note the “spiral” theme in the tunes as well as the images),and some Genius went and put the whole thing together

    i just took advantage of it once i knew it was up for grabs

    cuz we all know i’m just liek that , with all the sub-references bits

    shout me anytime Andy, and if i’m down that way, of course i’ll come and harass ya

    let me know when/if ya ever review some of the reading list i gave ya, i’d love to hear yer take on them

    my best to you and yours


  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Nice Article…
    I don’t think they had much of a choice considering that SOPHIA probably won’t be ready till ’08 or ’09.
    Though, I’m curious how Hubble compares to NASA’s latest project and what some of the differences will be considering they are going to be using alot of First Generation Instruments along with a 2.5 meter telescope,similar in size to Hubble’s telescope,on board a modified Boeing 747 SP.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    *oops* SOFIA

  • heyas Brian…

    we will see how the new stuff compares

    i go back and forth with some of the tech out there, i dearly LOVE the pure opticals from Hubble, but some of what Spitzer has come up with has been fabulous

    my Thought on the optical scope mounted on the back of a plane is simple…part of the reason Hubble captures such stunning Images is because it is outside the atmosphere

    i’m skeptical that anything sub-orbital can match the depth and clarity of what a scope outside of the atmosphere can attain


  • Gonzo-

    What’s this I hear about you leaving?

    Who will there be left to troll me in the comments portion of my articles? 🙂

  • gonzo marx


    thanks fer the Thought, and i’m sure others will point out the glaring flaws for you

    now, what did ya think about the Article/music video?

    ya can always *find* me by pinging one of my Posts

    [i]”those with two good ears better listen”[/i]


  • Yes Gonzo, I’ve been meaning to ask you to illucidate on Comment 3, edited how and why?

  • gonzo marx


    thanks fer the concern, but it’s not polite to talk otu of school, just look at the Article itself and it will dawn on ya…

    check my comment to troll in #20 for details, and my Article “Far Beyond Driven” for my Thoughts on the matter

    no worries, no mad, no bad…i got nothing but luv fer BC, but i gotta be me and stand up fer what i consider important

    unfortunately that conflicts with the goal of *legitimizing* BC as an e-zine, as well as raises the very real Issues of Fairness to the rest of the Contributers

    i will NOT ask to be an Exception to the rules everyoen else has to follow

    now, please…keep this Aricle about Hubble…

    if yas wanna talk about why i do what i do…or in this case , will no longer be doing..

    hit up the
    Far Beyond Driven
    article, where it belongs.

    that’s the place to discuss it, but it really is a non-issue… in a week or two of me being quiet, it’ll all be Forgotten, as it should Be


  • Nolder

    Every first Tuesday of November we get to fight the American Revolution over again. Hopefully with out bloodshed or violence but with as much reverence and patriotism as are fore fathers and or immigrant ancestors had. We all get to fire one shot to fire in this revolution, it’s call a ballot. All I ask of you is VOTE. Vote your party, your conscience , or your symbol of apathy, just vote. Let the shear numbers of are voices rock the world like the shot heard round the world. This is still a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, as long as the people speak there mind.

    Let Freedom Ring.

  • Nolder

    This comment is for general publication please help me get out the word and the vote. In the name of Frisco, Corin, Gimli, and all the minds and souls at the crossroads.
    Love and respect,

  • awww… Flipstar

    so nice of ya ta *drop* by

    know that the exact Word yer talking about is all over this web-site

    folks from all *sides* are saying the same thing, go and Vote (all except big Al, but that’s another Story)

    read on, and hope ya Enjoy the website..lots of good Thought and folks around here

    ‘ware the troll, he’s a nice sort but he nibbles fingers off if yer not careful


  • gonzo marx

    stopped in to check the week’s Editor’s Picks, and to see the general state fo things…

    NO science pick for the week this Article was published….

    that says it all…

    at least the Hubble is scheduled to be fixed