While the launch of any space-going vehicle is a glorious spectacle, this particular mission was special. Safely nestled in its cargo bay was the powerful Hubble Space Telescope, which would become the most successful of its kind. Quite literally, Hubble has caused the astronomical community to rewrite the textbooks.
It’s too soon to accept the demise of the Hubble Space Telescope. As I said, the telescope’s operational staff are both talented and clever. But this could be the end of Hubble’s story. Would that be a disaster to modern astronomy?
Any reports of the demise of the Hubble are still premature, but the recent glitch causes the stomach of astronomy buffs like me to lurch a little. I would miss the constant stream of gorgeous astronomical photos. But the prospect of an operational JWST is exhilarating to those who love the night sky.
The best-case scenario is one in which both are operating, and we must wait for those clever engineers to work their magic to see if that is possible.
Good luck, NASA.