Hubble redux (not)

Following up on my a previous posts about the future of the Hubble Space Telescope and on manned and unmanned space exploration: By now the web has discovered that the Bush administration has decided to remove funding for Hubble Space Telescope servicing (robotic and human) from the next budget. Of course, the purity of the Administration's motives leave plenty of room for doubt. As DavidNYC puts it in Daily Kos:

But ... the choice is not between $1 bil for Hubble vs. $1 bil for schools or healthcare. Rather, the choice is between $1 bil for Hubble vs. $1 bil for Bushco's insane, cockamamie Martian scheme - a scheme which some commentators believe is just a ruse for the Bushies to proceed apace with their desire to militarize space.

But there's another point, too: it's between $1 billion for Hubble and all the other ways NASA could spend that money -- or all the ways it would be spending it if it weren't for Hubble or Mars (not to mention the more or less useless -- and dangerous -- International Space Station). In particular, it could be for the sputtering Origins Program which could still produce a series of unmanned missions over the coming decades to find planets, image the early universe, and trace the evolution of Black Holes. I'd rather see these missions go forward than eke a few more years out of Hubble, frankly.