The Bush administration has eliminated funding for a Hubble servicing mission from its 2006 budget request. NASA requested this mission in order to extend the life of this popular space telescope. Instead the White House said NASA should focus on de-orbiting the Hubble at the end of its life.
Sources said O’Keefe received his marching orders on Hubble Jan. 13 during a meeting with White House officials to finalize the agency’s 2006 budget request. With both robotic and shuttle-based servicing options expected to cost well in excess of $1 billion, sources said, NASA was told it simply could not afford to save Hubble given everything else NASA has on its agenda, including preparing the shuttle fleet to fly again.