NASA plans to send a delivery of batteries and instruments to the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008, the space agency announced.
Hubble's fate has been up in the air for several years. Plans for a trip to upgrade the telescope were scrapped after seven astronauts were killed in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003. Engineers worked on a way to send up a robotic craft, but that was deemed unworkable. NASA's administrator Michael Griffin announced Tuesday a return to the original plan to send an astronaut-led repair mission, saying crew safety will be closely watched.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a supporter of Hubble, which is managed out of Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Md., said the decision would please more than scientists.
"The Hubble telescope has been the greatest telescope since Galileo invented the first one," said Mikulski. "It has gone to look at places in the universe that we didn't know existed before."