A study of the history of the Hubble telescope will reveal it was named after the scientist Edwin Hubble. The telescope was created by numerous engineers, contractors and scientists at NASA. Work on the space telescope began in 1977. The Hubble was launched on April 25, 1990.
As early as the 1930s, scientists had been pointing out the benefits of having a telescope in space. It would provide a clear and more comprehensive view of space without being obstructed by the Earth’s atmosphere. As the US space program began in the 1950s the idea for the space telescope began gaining support.
The history of the Hubble telescope shows that a number of proposals were sent to Congress. Finally on 1977, Congress approved funding for the program, 15 years after it was first proposed by NASA.
Construction and Launch
The Marshall Space Flight Center was tasked with the construction of the telescope. The Goddard Space Flight Center was employed to create the ground controls and the equipment to be used.
Meanwhile the Perkin Elmer Corporation worked on the mirrors and other contractors were employed to work on the design and other components. It was also at this time that the Hubble name was chosen. Edwin Hubble was the scientist who discovered that the universe was expanding.
The history of the Hubble telescope shows that it was supposed to be launched in 1986. But the Challenger disaster occurred and the space program was put on hold. The telescope was finally put into orbit in 1990.
When Hubble sent back images, scientists discovered a flaw in the mirror. It was in 1993 that NASA was able to rectify the problem by installing a camera on the mirror. The component was installed by the space shuttle Endeavor.
Further repairs and upgrades were performed in 1997 and 1999. The efficient design of Hubble allowed NASA to extend its service up to the end of 2010.
The history of the Hubble telescope is filled with a lot of discoveries. Some of its most significant discoveries were the Orion Nebula images. These pictures proved planets were born around stars.
A year later in 1994 Hubble unveiled images of stars forming. 1996 showed for the first time images of the Deep Field. These pictures showed the universe as it was 10 billion years ago.
The Hubble has helped answer a lot of questions about space too. It has helped evaluate the age of the universe. It has also provided evidence for the existence of dark energy. Dark energy is the force that causes the universe to expand. The telescope has also helped in quasar research. It has also shown how gamma rays explode and radiate.
From the time Hubble became operational, it has had tremendous impact on scientific circles. Over 6,000 scientific journals have been created based on info from Hubble.
The history of the Hubble telescope is one of the brightest spots in the annals of space research. Its contribution to scientific knowledge of the universe has been invaluable.