NASA leaves Hubble to fend for itself

With astronaut safety concerns as the stated cause, NASA has decided to cancel the 2006 shuttle mission to provide the Hubble Space Telescope with its last parts exchange. This means that it will likely cease operation before its successor (the James Webb Space Telescope) is aloft.

Articles from and other outlets (such as discuss the ramifications. NASA's official pages say that the change in plans does not represent a threat to science as efforts will continue for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2011.

Until then, we're going to have to hope that Hubbel has good luck and stays clear of space debris. Perhaps it will outlive its expected lifetime, just like the sojourner.