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Servicing the Hubble, Serving Human Needs

February 02, 2004

Re "Hubble's Star Quality," editorial, Jan. 27: As a retired public school teacher, I lend my voice in agreement with you that the Hubble Space Telescope should be given priority and maintained. It is invaluable. By contrast, in my opinion, the projected $600 billion to be spent by sending humans to Mars by 2030 is comparatively wasteful (2030!). We need to keep the Hubble, and our shuttle program should include priority trips to service it. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe should be strongly encouraged to reverse his decision to shutter and degrade the Hubble.

Aaron Steenbergen

Bakersfield

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Regarding the Mars rover project: Yes, it is technologically very impressive and exciting, but exactly how does this aid mankind and the troubling myriad problems we have here on Earth? Something tells me there are hundreds of millions of humans to which this expensive project really has no meaning or value.

Jorge A. Badel

Manhattan Beach

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Re "High-Speed Train Network Would Benefit State, Study Says," Jan. 27: High-speed trains? Great! But how about first simply making the existing trains go a little faster. Two hours, 45 minutes from downtown San Diego to downtown Los Angeles isn't good enough to get people out of their cars. It seems rather pathetic for the country that went to the moon and lands rovers on Mars.

Rupert Essinger

San Diego

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