Monday, January 15, 2007

SAVING HUBBLE Blog Launch

Welcome to Saving Hubble's little home on the internet prairie. Well, that is if you don't count our other internet settlements at savinghubble.com and youtube. And our upcoming myspace site. Come to think of it, we've whored ourselves out pretty well on the 'net and the Saving Hubble team is getting better at it every day!

I once swore of blogs but I'm coming around. I have an unusual relationship with technology, unusual as compared with the average web-surfing bear, I suppose. Funny that for someone who has fallen madly in love with the Hubble Space Telescope, I show a more-than-occasional distrust of email, a wariness of cell phones, and a downright loathing of ipods. But I don't see these as paradoxes-- in fact, if Hubble is truly the nexus of great technology in both design and execution, shouldn't it be a standard by which all other technologies can be measured? Which are the devices through which we break new ground, transcend ourselves once more in the evolutionary chain? The airplane? The internet? The ipod nano? Hardly. And how about savinghubble.blogspot.com. Moving our film forward? Or just adding another layer to the pervasive milieu of white noise that already clouds your judgement?

Before Blogspot kicks us out of the party and you, dear reader, swear off the internet entirely as I've considered doing a few times while just writing this first blog entry, let me take the opportunity to officially welcome you to this running commentary, invite you to check out the other sites (mainly the homepage at www.savinghubble.com, complete with trailer and donation information), and encourage you to communicate with me and my Hubble-hugger associates as we look to start a dialogue about the film (which should be completed by Spring '07).

Orbitally Yours,
David

6 comments:

Tom Fama said...

Comment on the Trailer: In my opinion, the opening sequence has too many "uncreditable" characters who deminish the seriousness of your effort. Once beyond that, I enjoyed the trailer. Good Luck.

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

You can make your points without taking shots at NASA, The President, or post Columbia accident decisions that will most likely be revisted and modified. Good luck with your project.

WayFaring said...

I spent more than a year working on the Hubble program. Always happy to see people still take interest in this awesome instrument. You really want to save the Hubble? Start talking about a mission to bring it home at the end of mission, which was originally the plan, way back in the early 1980s. Put it in the Smithsonian where it belongs. Of course the Shuttle will be grounded by then and there will be no way to bring it home. Next best thing - put an ion drive on it and work the orbital mechanics to get it added so the ISS over some period of time. Anything but crash this instrument into the sea.

larry said...

Great images, I'll admit, but at what cost?
Like 'Wayfaring'; I worked on the HST program also. It was my job to test the 4 FGS (Fine Guidance Systems). I know, I know - there are only 3 FGS modules on the HST but we DID have a 4th as a back-up along with the camera/instrument module which took-up the 4th quadrant of the Primary Mirror.
What bugs me to this day is the deliberate fraud perpetrated by my managers (especially Lou Montagnino & Bud Rigby) and people at NASA/Dept of Justice/Congress/White House who acted in complicity to protect the fraudsters.
Some staff to Congressional mambers on the committee, investigating the fraud, told me "It's water under the bridge, spilled milk, nothing to get excited about, get over it." One, at Dana Rorhabacher's office, even told me "We've got a lot of projects with them and we wouldn't want to bring this up now".
I checked. Though there weren't any Hughes/GM operations IN Rohrabacher's district - there ARE large ones just next door. Hmm, I wonder if any of his constituents commute to work there or if he received any 'contributions' from Hughes/GM?
NASA investigators (Debra Miller and others) testified before Congress they had ".. questioned everyone who worked there at the time (of the project)" and had found no evidence of intent to defraud. This conflicts with the actual records compiled in their report to NASA OIG which I received through the FOIA.
It also conflicts with evidence (dated from 1985) when a NASA Contract Auditor found over 400 people billing their time to the HST project AND the 'FGS test' account - though there were no more than 24 people employed in that department (company & contractors)!
It bugs me that Ken Starr was allowed to spend so much of our tax dollars persuing the impeachment of Clinton over his private adultry (his wife's problem - not national security) while staff at NASA/DOJ/Congress/White House ignored repeated submissions of 1st person testimony from someone (myself) who actually discovered the 'Spherical Anomaly' and was ordered (by Lou) to 'keep this under your hat' rather than tell the NASA reps.
It bugs me that NASA's own OIG records cite management's knowledge of the flaw in the early 1980s when the mirror blank was being polished - yet they continued to report (to NASA) 'all is well'.
It bugs me that the above cited Govt officials were willing to 'overlook' this little indiscretion (during the Clinton admin) while the primary contractors (Hughes and Lockheed) 'contributed' (i.e.: 'bribed') millions of dollars to elected and party officials (of both the GOP and Democratic parties) to look the other way.
BTW: Though the actual assembly work was done at a Perkin-Elmer facility (100 Wooster Heights Danbury CT) - when the facility was sold to Hughes the HST contract was 'novated' to reflect the sale to Hughes - making Hughes financially responsible (per those NASA OIG records).
THEN DOJ cut a deal with Hughes protecting them from suits brought under the Federal False Claims Act. That meant people like me could not find a lawyer willing to bring suit under the FFCA for the 3/4 billion dollars in fines they would've had to pay. According to the act - anyone bringing such a suit was entitled to 1/3rd the fines collected. Anyone think THAT might make them angry?
Just to show you how far the Govt will go to conceal from the public; In those OIG records a statement from investigators read that there was concern over the perception (by the American public) that the Govt wasn't hiring 'the best and the brightest' to complete the multi-billion dollar projects let out by the various agencies - due to this seemingly simple error by such highly educated contractor personnel (holding Phds).
The reputation of the American higher education system was also threatened (they claimed) should a large segment of the public learn of this.
I had no formal education certificate beyond a high school diploma and military training so if the public was made aware a person with MY lack of credentials could spot a mistake that a group of Phds (claimed they) could not -and the Govt regularly awarded billions of tax dollars to said Phds - the general opinion was "heads will roll" (at NASA).

Why is it whenever any independent individual claims 'conspiracy' they're made out to be a nut - but when Govt officials make that same claim - it's taken as fact?
Why is it America's 'free press' automatically discounts such claims against members of corporate America and Govt while accepting, and widely publicizing, claims of politicians/celebrities' unwitnessed indiscretions?
Could this be evidence of a grander plan to 'dumb down' Americans through 'bread and cicuses' such as the Roman empire used to keep ITs citizens under control? (ask any historian)

Ed said...

Further to wayfaring's idea of adding an ion engine to Hubble: NASA is going to need high-resolution images of the moon before it starts doing landing there again. How about adding a SMART-1 style ion engine to Hubble and send it into a lunar orbit? That way at the end of it's mission it will crash into the moon, eliminating the need to crash it into an ocean on earth, and will return the highest resolution possible images of the moon. Killing two stones with one bird!