Space mission less than stellar

In the cover story ``Hubble's Stellar Images,'' Dec. 12, an astronomer is quoted as saying that the December 1993 mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope was ``100 percent successful.'' It was a wonderful achievement, but to categorize it as a 100 percent success mistakes the full impact of the mission.

While the Wide Field and Planetary Cameras now see much better, substantial compromises had to be made to the system to make that improvement possible. In order to introduce the corrective optics, the astronauts had to remove the only instrument (high-speed photometer) that was working perfectly at the time. The attempt to repair the high-resolution spectrograph failed completely.

Finally, the fields of view of the main cameras was reduced substantially. David A. Cornell, Elsah, Ill.

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