The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most iconic and beloved telescopes in the world today. It has provided us with invaluable insights into our universe and revolutionized our understanding of space. However, have you ever wondered who was behind the development and launch of this amazing device? In this article, we will explore the history of the Hubble Space Telescope and discover the answer to this question.
The Journey Begins
The Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most remarkable instruments ever built, has been orbiting the Earth for over 30 years. It has provided us with stunning images and groundbreaking scientific discoveries that have revolutionized our understanding of the universe. But who launched this incredible telescope?
The Initial Concept
The idea of launching a space telescope was first proposed by astronomer Lyman Spitzer in the 1940s. He believed that a telescope positioned above the Earth’s atmosphere would be able to capture clearer images than any ground-based telescope. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the technology caught up with Spitzer’s vision.
In the early 1970s, NASA began developing the Hubble Space Telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. The telescope was designed to be serviced by astronauts in orbit, allowing for repairs and upgrades over its lifetime. The project was a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
After years of development and testing, the Hubble Space Telescope was finally ready for launch. But who was responsible for getting it into space?
The Space Shuttle
On April 24, 1990, the Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the Hubble Space Telescope in its cargo bay. The mission was designated STS-31 and was the first Shuttle mission dedicated to a scientific instrument. The crew of five astronauts was led by Commander Loren Shriver.
After reaching orbit, the crew began the process of deploying the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope was mounted on a special platform in the cargo bay, which was then lifted out into space by the Shuttle’s robotic arm. Once in position, the crew released the telescope, allowing it to begin its journey around the Earth.
The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope was a major milestone in the history of space exploration. It has provided us with some of the most stunning images of the universe ever captured and has revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos. But its legacy extends far beyond just its scientific discoveries.
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the public’s imagination like no other scientific instrument. Its images have graced countless books, magazines, and documentaries, and have inspired a new generation of space enthusiasts. The telescope has become a cultural icon, representing the pinnacle of human achievement in space exploration.
The scientific advancements made possible by the Hubble Space Telescope are immeasurable. It has allowed us to peer back in time to the earliest moments of the universe, helping us to understand its origins and evolution. It has also provided us with a wealth of data on everything from black holes to the formation of galaxies.
- The Hubble Space Telescope is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the universe is expanding.
- The primary mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope is 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in diameter.
- The Hubble Space Telescope is in a low-Earth orbit, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
- The Hubble Space Telescope has made over 1.4 million observations since its launch.
- The Hubble Space Telescope is expected to remain in operation until at least 2025.
Repairs and Upgrades
The Hubble Space Telescope has been serviced by astronauts on five separate missions. These missions have allowed for the repair and replacement of faulty instruments and the installation of new technology. Some of the most significant repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope include:
- The installation of a new camera, the Wide Field Camera 3, in 2009.
- The repair of the Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2009.
- The replacement of the telescope’s gyroscopes in 2009.
- The addition of new instruments, including the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3, in 2009.
- The installation of new science instruments, including the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3, in 2009.
FAQs – Who launched Hubble Space Telescope
Who launched the Hubble Space Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit aboard Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31 mission) on April 24, 1990. The launch took place from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States.
What is the purpose of the Hubble Space Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that is designed to observe distant galaxies, stars, nebulas, and other celestial objects in the universe. It is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble and is operated by NASA and the European Space Agency.
Who built the Hubble Space Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope was built by NASA with significant contributions from the European Space Agency. It took almost 20 years to design, develop, and build the telescope, and it was launched into orbit after several delays and cost overruns.
How far away is the Hubble Space Telescope?
The Hubble Space Telescope is located in low Earth orbit about 340 miles (547 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. It completes one orbit around the Earth every 97 minutes, traveling at a speed of about 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour).
How long has the Hubble Space Telescope been in space?
The Hubble Space Telescope has been in space for over 30 years since it was launched in 1990. During this time, it has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries and observations that have revolutionized our understanding of the universe. It is expected to remain in operation until the mid-2030s.