Former Mountainfilm guest helping to rescue Hubble

Former Mountainfilm guest helping to rescue Hubble

Astronaut John Grunsfeld has been to Telluride Mountainfilm twice, the first time in 2000, and the second in 2006.

IN 2006, John spoke on the subject was ET, NASA's search for planets with "life signatures." His objective: to help reframe people's thinking about life in the universe. He also addressed "Man, Moon, and Beyond," how NASA was planning its next push towards manned missions. Finally, John provided an astronaut’s eye view of the mountain ranges of our blue planet, not from the Hubble – which Grunsfeld has been in charge of repairing – but from his own Hasselblad. But the Hubble has been one of the astronaut's pet project for years.

This week, John headed into the Great Beyond with his astronaut amigos in the space shuttle Atlantis to rescue the ailing eye in the sky. On the harrowing 11-day mission, the crew is scheduled to complete an unprecedented five back-to-back space walks to add new instruments, replace old batteries and gyroscopes, and make vital repairs, including some to equipment that was never designed to be fixed in space. If all goes well, the work should extend the already 19-year-old Hubble telescope's lifetime through at least 2014.

Those of us who were in the audience when he spoke three years ago can say we knew John when. And like John, Mountainfilm reaches for the sky.

The event opens this Memorial Day weekend, May 22, 9 am, with an all-day symposium on the subject of food. at the Telluride Conference Center in the Mountain Village. A Gallery Walk follows on the late afternoon, then the films and talks begin.

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