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NASA extends Hubble contract for Baltimore based research

A Baltimore-based astronomy center will continue to conduct research using the Hubble Space Telescope for five more years under a contract extension with NASA.

The space agency extended its Hubble contract with the Associations of Universities for Research in Astronomy for continued science operations at the Space Telescope Science Institute located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University.

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The extension adds about $196.1 million to the sole-source contract, bringing its value to $2.03 billion.

The Space Telescope Science Institute staff includes about 600 scientists, post doctorates, engineers and administrators, according to the institute's website.

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The contract will allow the institute to conduct services required to execute science system engineering, science ground system development, science operations, science research, grants management and public outreach and data archive support.

Hubble, launched in April 1990, has orbited the earth for 26 years — 11 years longer than NASA originally expected it to last.

The Space Telescope Science Institute could not immediately comment on the contract.

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