Head Of Columbia Probe Board To Review Hubble Decision

The campaign to save the Hubble Space Telescope has had an impact.

NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe has agreed to review his decision to cancel the telescope's final servicing mission and let it deteriorate and go out of operation.

The space agency has been bombarded by pleas to save the craft. The head of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which coordinates the use of Hubble's instruments, says the response has been "overwhelming" from people who want to save Hubble.

O'Keefe cited the risk to astronauts and President Bush's new focus for NASA as reasons to cancel all space shuttle missions to the Hubble, which has revolutionized the study of astronomy with its striking images of the universe.

NASA says O'Keefe hasn't changed his mind about scrapping Hubble missions. But O'Keefe did tell Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski that he has asked the chairman of the board that investigated the "Columbia" disaster to review the Hubble matter and offer his "unique" perspective.

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