Watch live: Surprise NASA and SpaceX announcement related to billionaire space-flyer and Hubble Space Telescope




  • In Science
  • 2022-09-29 18:53:46Z
  • By Business Insider
The Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990 and has provided humanity a front-row seat to the cosmos for over three decades.
The Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990 and has provided humanity a front-row seat to the cosmos for over three decades.  
  • NASA is announcing a potential collaboration related to SpaceX, a billionaire, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • Veteran space reporters speculated on Twitter that the announcement could be a SpaceX mission to service Hubble.

  • Watch the NASA-SpaceX press conference live at 4:30 p.m. ET, in the video below.

NASA and SpaceX are about to make an announcement featuring a billionaire space tourist and the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA announced Thursday afternoon that it's holding a press conference "to discuss a new study exploring potential commercial space opportunities for NASA science missions."

The briefing will feature representatives from NASA and SpaceX, billionaire space-flyer Jared Isaacman, and the project manager of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Watch the announcement live on NASA TV, embedded below, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Isaacman recently purchased a series of flights on SpaceX vehicles for a program called Polaris. The first mission, called Polaris Dawn, would take Isaacman and a few others to the highest Earth orbit ever flown by humans. They plan to conduct the first ever commercial spacewalk, donning new SpaceX spacesuits and exiting the vehicle.

Polaris won't be Isaacman's first spaceflight. Last year, he and three others flew aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship that routinely ferries astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

jared isaacman spacex crew dragon
jared isaacman spacex crew dragon  

While no one knows why a Hubble representative is included at the press conference, career space reporters speculated on Twitter that the announcement could be that NASA is considering sending one of the first two Polaris missions - which are both aboard Crew Dragon - to conduct work on Hubble.

crew dragon endeavour crew 2 spacex iss arrival
crew dragon endeavour crew 2 spacex iss arrival  

NASA used to fly astronauts to Hubble to conduct repairs to the Earth-orbiting telescope. But those missions have not been possible since the agency retired its Space Shuttles. The last Hubble servicing mission was in 2009.

In recent years, Hubble encountered a series of issues that took it offline for weeks at a time.

astronaut fixes hubble space telescope in spacesuit above earth
astronaut fixes hubble space telescope in spacesuit above earth  

Though it's unclear what he meant, Isaacman tweeted "keep it Hubble," another possible clue, Thursday morning.

The third Polaris mission is planned to fly humans aboard SpaceX's giant Starship for the first time ever. It's unclear when that mission might launch. NASA has selected Starship to land astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972.

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