Are you sitting down? Comfortable? Take a deep breath. In. Out. If you have any sort of heart trouble, look away now. Do not read any further.
The Emperor, with all of his certificates of demonstrated intelligence, who claims to have saved Hubble from the clutches of his predecessor, who approved a risky shuttle mission putting lives on the line for something more expensive than a replacement telescope ever could be, with all of his claims of manifest destiny to implement his personal ESAS findings, who has found himself surrounded by supporting minions chanting, "yes, yes, yes" for the past three years...that same Emperor will finally be illuminated by the light of day tomorrow, to be standing naked outside the E Street Theater, covering up a decision that will surely lay bare his faulty sense of judgement.
Hubble is broke. But the hardware is not really believed to be broken. Really? That's not what we're being told, is it? How can this be?
If Hubble is not broke, why then would the repair mission be postponed? Why are extraordinary efforts being undertaken to ready a replacement computer by next February? Why will untold millions of dollars be spent to "save the telescope?"
Seriously, you better be sitting down for this.
None of this effort may be necessary. If what we are hearing is true, the only thing sitting between now and an operational telescope is John Grunsfeld's EVA glove. And a reset button on the computer.
The Hubble telescope may just be the victim of an amateur error. New software code was uploaded to the computer on Hubble before the SOS was received on the ground this past weekend. That software tells the telescope how to format data for transmission to the ground. The update was planned to accommodate the new instrumentation planned for installation by the STS-125 crew.
But the software is apparently flawed. It caused the computer to go off-line. The only way to get the computer to accept corrected software is to reset it, much like we do when our PCs display the ignominious blue screen of death. Of course, if you wanted to cover up your mistake, you would claim a new computer is needed to fix the problem. Of course, that always works.
It is the Emperor who allowed this to happen. And it was his team's hasty response to postpone the mission when it is just one astronaut's finger away from rescue. That response now puts the telescope at much higher risk of a real failure by adding months to this month's scheduled launch to get vital hardware on board to extend Hubble's life.
The same team's judgement is being utilized to fly this mission.
The same team is giving us ARES/ORION.