Hubble Fails? A History of The Hubble Telescope

‘Hubble Fails’? – thankfully for space exploration the famous telescope in the sky continues to function albeit repairs to improve it’s output are due in the coming months courtesy of NASA’s Discovery. If you were not aware of what the Hubble Telescope is, and how it came to be located in orbit, please read on;

Edwin Powell Hubble is considered to be one of the leading astronomers of the modern era and is best recognized for his theory of the enlargement of the universe, along with the Hubble constant, and the Hubble radius. He is also accountable for formulating the categorization of galaxies utilizing a instrument called the Tuning Fork Diagram. Hubble was born on November 20, 1889 in Marshfield, Missouri and was an American astronomer who changed the perception of the nature of the universe through his immense research into the cosmos.

Hubble Telescope in Orbit
Hubble Telescope in Orbit

In most cases his name lives on in many areas, however, the most recognizable aspect to his work is the Hubble telescope which is, and persists to be, the eyes and ears of scientists on the earth and is crucial to our understanding of its views of distant galaxies, planets, expiring stars, and black holes. Hubble, the observatory, is the principal optical telescope to be positioned in space and since it’s launch in 1990, marks the most consequential advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.

Hubble weighs in at 24,500 pounds, as much as a pair fully grown elephants and transfers a staggering 120 gigabytes of data each week. The telescope itself is so high-powered it is akin to directing a beam of light at a coin which is over 200 hundred miles away.

The Hubble program is a joint mission between the US space agency and the European Space Agency (Esa) and over the years since launch of the telescope critical components have started to fail and are scheduled to be replaced to restore the ‘eye in the sky’ to its full health.

The repairs are due to commence following the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery scheduled for around the 11th March 2009.

The telescope has two instrument chambers the COS ad WFC3, which will be placed onto racks unoccupied by the removal of aged instruments. Six new power units will revitalize the electrical system and astronauts will affix new thermal coverings to protect delicate sections. An attempt will additionally be made to overhaul the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) which ceased operating in 2004 after the servicing mission was cancelled following the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003.

The Hubble telescope is looking evermore deeper into space and viewing the Universe near its ‘Big Bang’ creation. The Hubble telescope, far from failing, is truly the best factual tool so far to exemplify the magnificence and immensity of our universe.

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