NASA, under congressional investigation for mismanaging development of the Hubble Space Telescope, predicted July 17 that most of the $2.5 billion instrument's blurry vision can be cleared up. The planned replacement of a wide-angle camera - augmented with corrective lenses - will eliminate as much as 95 percent of the problem. And a warped mirror in the telescope can be adjusted to eliminate the rest, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's chief astronomer Ed Weiler and telescope manager Jean Olivier told reporters in a telephone news conference.
The telescope - billed as the world's most precise - has thus far shown earthlings only fuzzy pictures of the ancient stars and galaxies it was designed to examine. NASA says the flawed mirror is to blame.
Earlier July 17, NASA officials said that the US space shuttle fleet, grounded by fuel leaks since June 29, could be airborne again by mid-August now that engineers have solved the mystery of fuel leaks that kept shuttles Atlantis and Columbia from flying.