Hubble Space Telescope

A telescope that has taught us


The idea of space observatories came into place by Lyman Spitzer in 1946. This idea came after World War II. He wrote about this in the newspaper. He explained that through the Earth's atmosphere blurs and twists light. Even the strongest telescopes can't show it accurately. Spitzer joined National Academy of Science Ad Hoc Committee. They published their ideas. NASA started to become interested in it around the 1960's. In 1971 George Low approved the Large Telescope Steering Group. To build the telescope they estimated about 400-500 million dollars. The House of Appropriations denied it because of the price. Then the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) decided to pitch in. The ESRO is now called the ESA (European Space Agency). ESRO made inexpensive solar panels which helped. In 1975 the congress approved building the telescope. It was supposed to launch in 1983 but the Hubble Space Telescope was incomplete. They successfully launched Hubble in 1990 on the Discovery.

Launch and Problems

It was first launched in 1986 on the Challenger. The problem was that the Challenger blew up leaving the telescope in pieces. NASA fixed the telescope and launched it again in 1990. It took unforgettable photos, but they were blurry. After launching it successfully, another problem came up. The photos that Hubble took were blurry yet again. In 1993, they sent astronauts to fix it and the Hubble started taking clearer photos. Then in 1997, they inserted another near infrared camera. The lens helped take more detailed photos of celestial objects. In 1999, they replaced all 6 of the gyroscopes in the telescope. In 2003, there was a mission to fix the telescope, but the rocket blew up.

Research And Help

The Hubble telescope taught us many things. It played a big role on finding out the age of the universe. A tool that helped the Hubble capture ancient galaxies and many more things is the mirror called Ritchey-Chretien. The mirror was named after its engineers. Every time they added new features, the pictures kept getting better and better. It also helped scientists see the past of the young universe. It played a big part in the discovery in Dark Energy, which works against gravity. Dark Energy causes the universe to expand. It also measured the atmosphere of other planets outside of our solar system. The telescope's information might help search for life outside of Earth someday. Scientists suggested that there were black centers in the center of the galaxies using Hubble. The Hubble Space Telescope is controlled by radio commands. It takes photos without looking into the atmosphere, and this causes diffraction. The Hubble has helped scientists for over 15 years.


The Hubble Space Telescope hasn't retired yet. They are planning when to take it down. To take its place, another telescope will be launched. It is called the James Webb Telescope and it is currently under construction. The James Webb Telescope is going to launch in 2018. The telescope will be farther away from Earth than the Hubble Space Telescope, so it will take photo deeper into space than Hubble.

Fun Facts:

  • Hubble was 380 miles above the Earth's surface.
  • It weighs 12.3 tons!
  • Did you know that stars don't twinkle, they burn?! It looks like they twinkle because the Earth's atmosphere is distorting the light.
  • The Hubble was 43ft. long and 14ft. in diameter.

Now For The Fun Stuff


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