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ORIGINS

No one person ever "invents" or builds a spacecraft; it is a collaboration of individuals, companies, governments, etc., over a period of many years.

Like all NASA projects, HST began many years ago as a scientific proposal that eventually found its way into creation as a scientific instrument, spacecraft, probe, satellite, etc. Though it typically takes 3-5 years for a project to be completed once the Design Reviews are performed, the engineering designs and other key elements that bring a project to life begins years before actual manufacturing work is begun.

The Hubble Telescope can trace its origins to 1946, when noted astronomer Lyman Spitzer ("Father of the Space Telescope") wrote his paper entitled "Astronomical Advantages of an Extraterrestrial Observatory". Spitzer (NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is named for him) pushed many years of his career for the development of a space based observatory, and in 1965 he was appointed head of a committee with the task of defining the parameters and objectives for an orbiting observatory.

FIRST SPACE OBSERVATORIES

Space-based observatories are hardly novel - the first observatory was launched in 1962 by NASA was the Orbiting Solar Observatory, which gathered X-ray, UV, and Gamma Ray data), and the British launched their own orbiting solar observatory around the same time. In 1966, NASA launched the first Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO), whose battery failed after only 3 days. Its successor, OAO-2, launched in 1968, was much different however; it continued to operate and send UV data on stars and galaxies until 1972, well past its project life of 1 year.

ADVANTAGES OF SPACE-BASED OBSERVATORIES

Aside from the obvious advantage of not being hindered by filtering problems due to Earth's atmosphere, space observatories can view any part of the universe it's pointed at; ground based observatories are limited to the area of sky they can view because they're on a fixed point on the Earth's surface, and can only view a limited amount of the sky in its area of vision as it rotates. While modern ground telescopes have claimed to now have better resolution capability than Hubble, what they fail to mention is that the algorithms and technology used to gain those advances were largely due to technology developed for Hubble and other space observatories.

HUBBLE BIRTH

The ultimate success of the OSO/OAO programs and the data they produced convinced many in the scientific community that there were huge benefits to be gained from a space-based observatory, and in 1968 NASA began firm plans to design and build an observatory provisionally known as either the Large Orbiting Telescope (LOS) or Large Space Telescope (LST), with a provisional launch date in 1979. NASA always gives a project an initial name; as the project comes to life, it will often rename it for a specific person who made key contributions to the area of study the instrument or satellite is focusing on.

For the next 10 years the project languished in the government funding quagmire; though there were major lobbying efforts and strong support for LST by the scientific community, Congress wasn't as eager to give up the money required for such a bold venture, and budget cuts and changes eventually led to NASA collaborating with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the project. The ESA agreed to help fund the project, provide solar arrays and one of the first instruments, in exchange for a guarantee of at least 15% observation time for its scientists. The ESA also provided personnel to assist in the construction of the LST.

Construction finally began in the late '70's, with 2 key NASA Centers having overall responsibility; Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland (ground and scientific instrument control), and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama (design, development & construction). Perkin-Elmer was given the contract by MSFC to build the large mirror (Optical Telescope Array) and the LST's Fine Guidance Sensors (responsible for precise positioning of the telescope during observations), and aerospace giant Lockheed was given the task of building the spacecraft required to house all of the instruments and support systems. I still remember seeing it being constructed in 1984 at MSFC - little did I know then that in 7 years I'd be working on it for GSFC.

LARGE SPACE TELESCOPE RENAMED

In 1983, NASA formally renamed the Large Space Telescope the Hubble Space Telescope, in honor of American Astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (November 20, 1889 - September 28, 1953), who made the key discovery that the universe is in fact expanding, and demonstrated that other galaxies exist besides the Milky Way. It is a long-standing NASA tradition to name spacecraft for those who have made key contributions in the field a particular experiment or observatory is going to be used for.

SERVICING MISSIONS

Early on, it was determined that HST should be designed to be maintained in orbit, and the plans for the Shuttle program fell into those plans. This single key design factor has kept the project alive for nearly 20 years. To date, there have been 5 servicing missions to maintain HST; SM1, SM2, SM3A, SM3B, and SM4. SM3 was split into 2 separate missions after the NICMOS experiment, installed on the 1997 SM2 mission, began to lose its solid nitrogen cooling source much faster than was designed due to an undetected thermal short. A fix was quickly devised, the NICMOS Cryocooler System, a hi-speed cryogenic turbine (the blades are the diameter of a dime) that pumps liquid helium through the original pipes used to originally freeze the nitrogen. The installation of the NCS system and additional cooling systems to compensate for the added heat generated from its electronics, and the failure of 4 of HST's 6 onboard gyros (prompting replacement to be scheduled for SM3A) is why the mission was split into 2 parts.

LEGACY / BENEFITS

HST, though delayed by the shutdown of the Space Program after the Challenger accident, and the initial problem with its primary mirror, has ultimately proven to be the premier observatory the world recognizes. Some of the most stunning pictures and discoveries in the universe have come as a direct result of HST's observations.

In addition to solving some of Astronomy's long-standing problems and fueling the imagination of millions, everyday people have benefited from HST technology as well. Digital cameras and imaging technology, SSD/Flash Drives, Lithium Ion batteries, etc., all owe their origins to technology directly or indirectly used for HST, among many other devices used by ordinary people. As one of 4 observatories in NASA's "Great Observatories" program (the other 3 are the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO), the Chandra X-Ray Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope), it has proven that its benefits have been worth the cost.

Other space telescopes are planned - the James Webb Space Telescope (many former HST personnel are now working on it), an Infrared telescope, will be much different, in that it won't view the optical spectrum and will orbit at Lagrangian Point 2 (L2), past the orbit of the Moon. Several other space observatories are already in orbit at the L2 point.

The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) will be the true successor to HST, if the proposed project ever comes to fruition. Also planned to be orbited at the Sun-Earth L2 point, its proposed mirror will be several times larger than HST's, and will be able to view in several wavelengths, including the optical, which JWST isn't designed to do.

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Q: Who invented the Hubble Space Telescope?
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Related questions

Where was the hubble space telescope invented?

It was invented in the USA (and built there).


What was the hubble space telescope invented for?

Looking deeper into space.


What type of optical telescope is the hubble space telescope?

The Hubble Space telescope is a reflecting telescope.


What was the hubble space telescope named after?

The Hubble Space Telescope was named after Edwin Hubble,


What does the word hubble mean?

NASA's Hubble Deep Space Telescope was named after the man who invented it.


What type of telescope is the hubble telescope?

The Hubble Telescope is a reflecting space telescope.


What type of telescope does the Hubble space telescope use?

The Hubble Space telescope is a reflecting Telecope


What is the device that takes pictures in space?

Hubble telescope The Hubble Space Telescope.


How many hubble space telescope are there?

There is only one Hubble telescope in space.


Who invented the hubble telescope?

No one "invented" it. It was designed by the Marshall Space Flight Center.


What telescope is in space?

The Hubble Space Telescope.


What is the name of the orbiting space telescope launched in 1990?

The Hubble space telescope.The name of the telescope launched into space in 1990 is Hubble Space Telescope.


How does the Hubble telescope get into space?

The Hubble telescope went into space in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle.


How was the Hubble Space Telescope taken into space?

== The Hubble Space Telescope what carried into space by the Space Shuttle Discovery.


What is hubble telescope?

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST; also known colloquially as "the Hubble" or just "Hubble") is a space telescope that was carried into Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle in April 1990.


Which thing is called Hubble?

It is the one kind of telescope use in space. The Hubble Space telescope, is the one of the most common used-technology in space. The Hubble Space telescope was named after Edwin Hubble.


Who is the owner of the hubble space telescope?

I think the Hubble Space Telescopes was made by the NASA but they named the Hubble Space Telescope was named by Edwid Hubble


When did they create the hubble space telescope?

they created the hubble space telescope in April 1990


Where is the Hubble Space Telescope positioned?

The Hubble Space Telescope is in orbit around the Earth.


Why was the Hubble Space Telescope related to Edwin Hubble?

Edwin P. Hubble is related to the Hubble space telescope because he suggested that we launch a telescope into space so they named it after Edwin's last name, Hubble.


Which space shuttle launched the Hubble Telescope into space?

The space shuttle Discovery launched the Hubble Telescope into space.


What is the name of our space telescope?

It is the Hubble Space Telescope.


What year was the hubble telescope invented?

The Hubble Telescope was sent into space in 1990. It was designed and built for several years before that. As of 2014, it is still in operation.


What country invented Hubble Space Telescope?

The HST was designed (= invented) and built by companies in the USA.


How long is the hubble space telescope?

the Hubble space telescope is about the size and weight of a large bus.