The Hubble Space Telescope was a technological marvel that produced images of space from a far distant. NASA launched it to space on April 24, 1990 providing scientists over fifteen years of knowledge, discoveries, and images. The idea of a space telescope came from Lyman Spitzer (1914-1997), a professor and research at Yale University, who argued a telescope from space, will provide “great advantages over ground-based observatories.” The construction of the Hubble Space Telescope would take enormous amount of money, time, and labor but will provide unparallel results compare to observatories from Earth. Since the space telescope offered more pros then cons, plans have been forwarded with the cost of the program ranging from $400 to $500 million. Congress accepted a smaller proposal of the space telescope and granted the Large Space Telescope program with a fund in 1977. The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990 further advanced humanity’s knowledge because it permitted human to invent life changing technology to explore and uncovered the mysteries in space.
Hubble Space Telescope Missions and Instruments
The Hubble Space Telescope was equipped with the most advanced technologies of its time when it was launched into space. However, even with the best technologies NASA had to offer, the space telescope still had technical problems and could not withstand the new technologies that emerged as time passed. This created problems for the space telescope to be constantly repaired and upgraded. NASA sent four service missions to the Hubble Space telescope to maintain the instruments to solve the problems of the space telescope.
Service Mission 1
NASA launched its first service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope on December 1993. The mission was a planned maintenance on the telescope and provided an opportunity for NASA to install new instruments. However prior to the mission, on June 1990 a few months after the Hubble Space telescope was launched, NASA discovered a problem with space telescope. Scientists found out that the space telescope’s primary mirror of the two on the telescope had a spherical aberration. This spherical aberration meant there was an optical problem involving the light coming in to the telescope. This caused problems for the telescope because the mirrors were the “eyes” of the telescope called the Optical Telescope Assembly. This resulted in the images provided by the Hubble Space telescope to be blurry caused by the angle of the incoming light. NASA responded by installing the COSTAR (Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement) allowing the primary mirror to correct the errors of the lighting. The COSTAR installation was successful and fixed the Hubble Space telescope’s blurry vision by installing five pairs of corrective mirrors.
Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2)
Another important installation on the Hubble Space Telescope was the WFPC2 (Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2)....