Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope
On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into outer space by NASA. On April 25, 1990, it was deployed into space from the space shuttle Discovery
. 2018 marks 28 years since the launch of Hubble into space.
The Hubble Space Telescope was a joint project of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ESA (European Space Agency). The idea for a space telescope came from Hermann Oberth, a German rocket scientist, in 1923. As technology advanced, Lyman Spitzer, an American astronomer and physicist, proposed his idea for a space telescope in 1946. Work began on the Hubble telescope in 1977, when funding was approved. The Hubble has made many important discoveries about the universe over the years. The successor to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in May 2020.
Here are some facts about this amazing telescope:
- Hubble orbits in space about 350 miles above the Earth's surface. It is about the size of a bus.
- Hubble is solar powered. It collects energy from the sun and stores it in batteries.
- Hubble can photograph objects that are up to 14 billion light-years away.
- Besides taking pictures of very far away objects, Hubble also photographs the planets in our solar system.
- Shortly after Hubble was launched, it was discovered that the lens was defective. It wasn't until 1993 that the lens was able to be repaired and Hubble was able to give us beautiful photographs of outer space. Hubble was also repaired in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2009.
- Hubble was named in 1983 in honor of American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble who discovered, in 1923, that the universe extends beyond the Milky Way galaxy.
Find student resources about the Hubble Space Telescope
in SIRS Discoverer
. Also, here are some helpful websites:
A Brief History of the Hubble Space Telescope
James Webb Space Telescope
Hubble 25th Anniversary
ESA Hubble Overview
NASA Hubble Space Telescope
Space Telescope Science Institute