The Hubble and the Future of Space Exploration

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The repairs are done, the spacewalking is over and the Shuttle Atlantis has disengaged from the Hubble Space Telescope. John Grunsfeld, an astronaut and an astronomer, summed up the importance of this week's mission by calling the Hubble “arguably the most important scientific instrument ever created,” important enough for him and others to risk their lives walking in space for five days to make repairs. Now it's almost time to come home. We look at what they did and what the Hubble might find as it looks back farther than ever toward the origin of the universe and the beginning of time. We also consider what's next for the manned space program. Would a return to the Moon and a visit to Mars be cheaper and more effective with robots? 

Credits

Guests:
David Leckrone - Senior Project Scientist for Hubble, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Jonathan McDowell - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics - @planet4589, Jennifer Wiseman - Chief of the ExoPlanets and Stellar Astrophysics Lab, Goddard Space Flight Center

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Sonya Geis, Christian Bordal