Written and Edited by: Estefany Escobedo
The Hubble Space Telescope
The Space Telescope Institute (STScI) is responsible for the scientific operation of the telescope and the delivery of the data products to astronomers. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and is physically located in Baltimore, Maryland on the Homewood campus of John's Hopkins University. One rather complex task that falls to STScI is scheduling observations for the telescope. Hubble is in a low-Earth orbit to enable servicing missions, but this means that most astronomical targets are occulted by the Earth for slightly less than half of each orbit. Observations cannot take place when the telescope passes through the South Atlantic Anomaly due to elevated radiation levels, and there are also sizable exclusion zones around the Sun (precluding observations of Mercury), Moon and Earth.
Engineering support for HST is provided by NASA and contractor personnel at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.From its original total cost estimate of about US$400 million, the telescope had by now cost over $2.5 billion to construct. Hubble's cumulative costs up to this day are estimated to be several times higher still, roughly US$10 billion as of 2010.Although the HST has clearly helped astronomical research, its financial cost has been large.
The Hubble Space Telescope has won two Space Achievement Awards from the Space Foundation for its outreach activities, in 2001 and 2010.