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Proceedings Paper

Why the Hubble Space Telescope life cycle program cost over $15B in today's dollars (and why it didn't have to)
Author(s): Greg Davidson
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Paper Abstract

The Hubble Space Telescope is by far the most successful scientific spacecraft ever launched. According to the Science News metric, Hubble has produced 25% of NASA's scientific return since its launch in 1990, or roughly 1.5% of world-wide discovery in all fields of science, from archeology to biomedicine to zoology. Yet despite this outstanding success, Hubble has also been expensive, totaling $15B* in FY09$. There are many lessons to be learned from Hubble's history concerning how to execute scientific missions more cost effectively, and fortunately some of those lessons have already been demonstrated on programs such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, while others are being carried forward in the spacecraft of today.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 August 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7071, An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned, 707102 (29 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.799542
Show Author Affiliations
Greg Davidson, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7071:
An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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