"This study is an exciting example of the innovative approaches NASA is exploring through private-public partnerships," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's science chief.
"As our fleet grows, we want to explore a wide range of opportunities to support the most robust, superlative science missions possible."
Hubble's orbit is 335 miles above Earth, just above the atmosphere, but this is degrading over time. Re-boosting Hubble into a higher and more stable orbit could add years to its operational life, NASA said. After Hubble is decommissioned, NASA plans to de-orbit the satellite or dispose of it.
The FCC is concerned enough about the volume of space junk that it yesterday voted for a new five-year rule requiring operators to responsibly bring satellites down from LEO within five years of completing a mission rather than the current 25-year rule.
Based on Hubble's current orbital decline, NASA thinks it would be decommissioned by 2030. However, at a higher altitude the space telescope could survive another 15 to 20 years.
"It's wholly appropriate for us to look at this because of the tremendous value this research asset has for us as well as others," said NASA's Zurbuchen, according to CNBC.
The question of cost is a prickly issue for NASA, whose Artemis I mission to restart human exploration of the Moon around 2024 has cost the agency $40 billion so far.