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Hubble Space Telescope Essay

583 words - 2 pages

The Hubble Space Telescope The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the worlds most powerful earth-orbiting reflecting telescopes. With its capability of producing images from any wavelength, the HST is the eyes of the universe for scientists on earth.The HST has a capability of operating at any wavelength from a near infrared level to a visible range to an ultraviolet level. Because of this capability, scientists can view toward the outmost reach of the universe. The HST has a 2.4 meter objective mirror and is able to observe different types of wavelengths. Once it locates an image from any wavelength, the HST records the images it receives and then sends the images back to earth by means of radio waves in digital form.The construction of the HST began in 1981 with the assembly of its' precision ground mirror. By the end of 1985, the entire spacecraft was complete with the scientific instruments, optical components, and remaining hardware intact and prepared for launch. Although scheduled for launch in 1986, the project was later postponed due to the space shuttle Challenger disaster. During this period, HST was subjected to intense tests and observation in order to prepare its duty in space. The HST was finally launched aboard the STS-31 mission of the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.Shortly after its launch in 1990, an error was found in the HST main mirror, which caused the telescope to operate improperly. The main mirror was shaped too flat toward the edge of the lens itself. This caused the images to appear as a blur upon use of the telescope. The mirror could not be fixed. So to correct the problem, scientists developed a corrective lens, similar to a contact lens, to compensate for...

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