The Hubble Telescope Essay

950 words - 4 pages

The Hubble Telescope is the world’s first space-based optical telescope. The Hubble telescope received its name from American astronomer Dr. Edwin P. Hubble. Dr. Hubble confirmed an ever expanding universe which provided the basic foundation of the Big Bang theory. The first concept of the Hubble telescope came from Lyman Spitzer in 1946 who at that time was a professor and researcher at Yale University, Professor Spitzer believed that Earth’s atmosphere blurs and distorts light and a space orbited telescope would be able to surpass this problem. He spent nearly all of his life dedicated to making this concept into a reality. (http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/hubble_essentials/)
In the 1960’s NASA started to conduct studies into a large space telescope and after being denied funding multiple times because of the estimated $500 million price tag to build the Hubble telescope it finally received congressional approval in 1977, after reducing the estimated cost to $200 million. Five companies were awarded contracts to begin work on the Hubble telescope. Marshall Space Flight Center did the design, development and construction of the Hubble, Goddard Space Flight Center designed, developed and constructed the science instruments, Perkin-3lmer Corporation built the telescope assembly and Fine Guidance Sensors, Lockheed Martin built the structure and supporting systems and also put the telescope all together and tested it. (http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/hubble_essentials/#work)
NASA had originally wanted to launch the Hubble in 1983 but because of multiple program problems it was delayed. The Hubble’s imagining mirror was completed in 1981 but the rest of the optical assembly was not finished until 1984. Finally in December of 1985 all of the Hubble’s pieces were in place and an October 1986 launch date was set. But once again the Hubble’s launch was delayed due to the Space shuttle Challenger exploding and all space flights had been suspended. It wasn’t until 1988 when shuttle flights continued that an April 1990 launch on the space shuttle Discovery. On April 24, 1990 the Hubble telescope was launched into low orbit roughly 600km above the surface of the Earth. Since that date it has also had four servicing missions. (http://history.nasa.gov/hubble/index.html)
The Hubble’s original scientific equipment consisted of six separate pieces of equipment. The Wide Field/Planetary Camera, Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph, a Faint Object Camera, a Faint Object Spectrograph, a High Speed Photometer, and Fine Guidance Sensors. The first of this equipment, the Wide Field/Planetary Camera was used to take pictures of very far away objects. It had 48 different filters that let scientists study multiple wavelengths of light from ultraviolet to near-infrared light. The Wide Field/Planetary Camera used electronic detectors to record all of the images. It had four small high tech circuitry called Charge-Coupled Devices, the devices could see objects...

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