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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Hubble Trouble

One of the Hubble's key instruments, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) has shut down. NASA is currently studying to see if it can be woken up.

STIS currently accounts for 30% of the Hubble work, and was used to study distance objects in fine detail. While the remaining three observing instruments are working well, and now can be given more observing time, this is the handwriting on the wall. With the servicing mission to the Hubble still cancelled, it's only a matter of time now till the telescope, one of the most productive scientific instruments in history, breaks down to the point of uselessness.