60 Minutes is interviewing NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld. He’s known as the repairman of the Hubble Telescope which has exceeded expectations in the space industry. The Hubble was expected to last 15 years, it’s now into its 27th year of taking photographs of the universe. Grunsfeld says the Hubble could last another three or five years but there are plans to replace it with a new telescope that will be launched in 2019. It was originally named the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), but was renamed after NASA administrator James Webb (1906-1992).
James Webb was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to oversee NASA in 1961 which he did until 1968. Webb oversaw the first manned launches in the Mercury through Gemini programs and in 1969 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson. The former U.S. Marine graduated from The George Washington University Law School before being hired by Sperry Gyroscope Company in Brooklyn in the 1930s. Webb helped grow the company to become a major supplier of navigation equipment during World War II. In the 1940s, President Truman nominated Webb to serve as an undersecretary of state in the U.S. Department of State. 60 Minutes at 7:30 pm on CBS.