June 4, 2012
In a move that would make Dr Evil drool, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has made the surprise announcement that it will give NASA two powerful telescopes intended as spy satellites.
Why? Well, it turns out that these spy telescopes could be re-purposed as space telescopes more powerful than Hubble! Sadly, this is one gift that still comes with a pretty huge price tag.
The ideal scenario is this: Rather than the two “spy ‘scopes” snooping on rogue nations, NASA will just strap some instruments to them, blast them into orbit and turn those babies to face away from Earth. They won’t seek rogue aliens, but they will probe the depths of the Universe, building on Hubble’s historic legacy — such as exploring the mystery of Dark Energy.