Encyclopedia Astronautica
HST



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Hubble
Hubble during STS-109
Credit: NASA
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STS-31
STS-31 crew monitors Hubble Space Telescope (HST) from OV-103's flight deck
Credit: NASA
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STS-31
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) above OV-103's PLB during STS-31 deployment
Credit: NASA
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STS-31
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (SA & HGA deployed) is grappled by RMS
Credit: NASA
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STS-31
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) drifts away from OV-103's RMS
Credit: NASA
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STS-31
STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is released by RMS over Andes Mountains
Credit: NASA
American visible astronomy satellite. One launch, 1990.04.24. The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to provide a space telescope with an order of magnitude better resolution than ground-based instruments.

The initially flawed satellite was repaired, maintained, and upgraded in a series of space shuttle missions extending over a decade.

The Hubble Space Telescope was the visible/ultraviolet/near-infrared element of the Great Observatories astronomical program. The spacecraft provided an order of magnitude better resolution than was possible with ground-based telescopes. The objectives of the HST were to:

  • investigate the composition, physical characteristics, and dynamics of celestial bodies
  • examine the formation, structure, and evolution of stars and galaxies
  • study the history and evolution of the universe
  • provide a long-term space-based research facility for optical astronomy.

During initial on-orbit checkout of the Hubble's systems, a flaw in the telescope's main reflective mirror was found that prevented perfect focus of the incoming light. This flaw was caused by the incorrect adjustment of a testing device used in building the mirror. Fortunately, however, Hubble was designed for regular on-orbit maintenance by Shuttle missions. The first servicing mission, STS-61 in December 1993, corrected the problem by installing a corrective optics package and upgraded instruments (as well as replacing other satellite components). Further servicing missions were undertaken in 1997, 1999, and 2002. Hubble's successor, the Webb Next Generation Telescope, was authorized in 2002. However so valuable was Hubble, that NASA in 2007 decided to proceed to break its rule after the Columbia disaster of not flying solo shuttle missions and planned a final Hubble servicing mission in 2009.

The program included significant participation by ESA, which provided one of the science instruments, the solar arrays, and some operational support to the program. Responsibility for conducting and coordinating the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope rested with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) at Johns Hopkins University, who operated it for NASA as a general observer facility available to astronomers from all countries.

Hubble had a 3-axis stabilized, zero momentum biased control system using reaction wheels with a pointing accuracy of 0.007 arc-sec. Two double-roll-out solar arrays (2.3 m x 12 m) generated 5000 W and fed six 60 Ahr batteries. A hydrazine propulsion system allowed coarse attitude control and orbital correction. The S-band communications system used deployed articulated high gain antennas and provided uplink at 1 kbps and downlink (via TDRSS) at 256-512 kbps.

The telescope was an f/24 Ritchey-Chretien Cassegrainian system with a 2.4 m diameter primary mirror and a 0.3 m Zerodur secondary. The effective focal length was 57.6 m. The Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) package was a corrective optics package designed to optically correct the effects of the primary mirror's aberration on the Faint Object Camera (FOC), Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS), and the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS). COSTAR displaced the High Speed Photometer during the first servicing mission to HST.

Instruments included the Wide Field Planetary Camera (JPL), which consisted of four cameras that were used for general astronomical observations from far-UV to near-IR. The Faint Object Camera (ESA) used cumulative exposures to study faint objects. The Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) was used to analyze the properties of celestial objects such as chemical composition and abundances, temperature, radial velocity, rotational velocity, and magnetic fields. The FOS was sensitive from 1150 Angstroms (UV) through 8000 Angstroms (near-IR). The Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer (GHRS) separated incoming light into its spectral components so that the composition, temperature, motion, and other chemical and physical properties of objects could be analyzed. The GHRS was sensitive between 1050 and 3200 Angstroms.

AKA: Hubble Space Telescope.
Gross mass: 10,863 kg (23,948 lb).
Height: 13.30 m (43.60 ft).
First Launch: 1990.04.24.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Wilson, Keith T., "EVA Log 1965-1997", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report,
  • NASA Report, SM3B Media Reference Guide, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Media Reference Guide, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A New Advanced Computer, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Crew Aids and Tools, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Fine Guidance Sensor, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Gyroscopes, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A A New Thermal Blanket Layer, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A S-Band SAT, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Solid State Recorder, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Temperature Improvement, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Service Call to Hubble, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A ST Operations Control Center, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Cost to Taxpayers, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM3A Plans for the Future, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 Media Reference Guide, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 Overview, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 NASA Prepares for 1997 Mission, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 Science Objectives , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 Cost to Taxpayers , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 ST Operations Control Center, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM2 Astronauts Prepare for Spacewalks, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Mission Success Criteria, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Long-Term Plans, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 ST Operations Control Center, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Optical Verification Program, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Observatory Verification, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 COSTAR, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Co-Processor, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, SM1 Tools and Crew Aids, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Hubble Biennial Report 1999-2000, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Creating Hubbles Technicolor Universe, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Hubble Space Telescope (ESA Brochure), Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, 10 Years that Changed Our Vision - Europe and Hubble, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, ESA Hubble Factsheet , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ball Aerospace HST Fact Sheet, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Hubble Blueprints, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Hubble Space Telescope. Update: 18 months in orbit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Hubble Space Telescope optical systems failure report, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Hubble Space Telescope. Media reference guide, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39B Shuttle, Saturn V, Saturn I launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program in 1963-1966. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. More...

HST Chronology


1986 August - .
1990 April 24 - . 12:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-31R.
  • HST Hubble Space Telescope - . Payload: Hubble Space Telescope. Mass: 10,863 kg (23,948 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HST. USAF Sat Cat: 20580 . COSPAR: 1990-037B. Apogee: 596 km (370 mi). Perigee: 590 km (360 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope; deployed from STS-31 4/25/90. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1993 June 25 - .
  • EVA STS-57-1 - . Crew: Low; Wisoff. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.24 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low; Wisoff. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-57. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Latched Eureca antenna. Conducted tests to refine procedures for servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope and construction of the International Space Station.

1993 December 5 - . 03:44 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-1 - . Crew: Hoffman; Musgrave. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.33 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hoffman; Musgrave. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - gyroscope replacement..

1993 December 6 - . 03:29 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-2 - . Crew: Thornton; Akers. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thornton; Akers. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - solar array replacement..

1993 December 7 - . 03:35 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-3 - . Crew: Hoffman; Musgrave. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hoffman; Musgrave. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - WFPC-P installation..

1993 December 8 - . 03:13 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-4 - . Crew: Thornton; Akers. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thornton; Akers. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - COSTAR installation..

1993 December 9 - . 03:30 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-5 - . Crew: Hoffman; Musgrave. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.31 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hoffman; Musgrave. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - solar array drive replacement..

1997 February 14 - . 04:34 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-82-1 - . Crew: Lee; Smith, Steven. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lee; Smith, Steven. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-82. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - NICMOS installation..

1997 February 15 - . 03:25 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-82-2 - . Crew: Harbaugh; Tanner. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.31 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Harbaugh; Tanner. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-82. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Guidance sensor replacement..

1997 February 16 - . 02:53 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-82-3 - . Crew: Lee; Smith, Steven. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.30 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lee; Smith, Steven. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-82. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Data interface unit replacement..

1997 February 17 - . 03:45 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-82-4 - . Crew: Harbaugh; Tanner. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Harbaugh; Tanner. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-82. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Solar array drive replacement..

1997 February 18 - . 03:15 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-82-5 - . Crew: Lee; Smith, Steven. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.22 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lee; Smith, Steven. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-82. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 2 - Insulation blanket repair..

1999 December 23 - . 18:54 GMT - .
1999 December 24 - . 19:06 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-103-2 - . Crew: Foale; Nicollier. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.34 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Foale; Nicollier. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-103. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Installed in the Hubble space telescope a new 486/25 mhz computer and replaced Fine Guidance Sensor FGS-2..

1999 December 25 - . 19:17 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-103-3 - . Crew: Smith, Steven; Grunsfeld. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.33 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Smith, Steven; Grunsfeld. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-103. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Completed part of the installation of new insulation to the Hubble space telescope. The rest was deferred to the next servicing mission..

2002 March 4 - . 06:37 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-109-1 - . Crew: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.30 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-109. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: The airlock was depressurized at 0630 and repressurized at 1338 UTC. The astronauts replaced the -V2 solar array with the new rigid array stored in the RAC carrier, and replaced a solar array diode box..

2002 March 5 - . 06:40 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-109-2 - . Crew: Newman; Massimino. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.31 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Newman; Massimino. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-109. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Depress was at 0634 on and repress was at 1356 UTC. The astronauts replaced the +V2 solar array and diode box, and replaced the RWA-1 reaction wheel assembly..

2002 March 6 - . 08:28 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-109-3 - . Crew: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.29 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-109. Spacecraft: Columbia; HST. Summary: Depress was at 0825 UTC and repress at 1516 UTC. The HST was powered entirely down and astronauts changed out the power control unit..

2002 March 7 - . 09:00 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-109-4 - . Crew: Newman; Massimino. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Newman; Massimino. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-109. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Depress was at 0856 UTC and repress was at 1630 UTC. The Faint Object Camera was removed and the Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed. The CASH (Cross Aft Shroud Harness) wire harness for the cooling system was installed..

2002 March 8 - . 08:46 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-109-5 - . Crew: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.31 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grunsfeld; Linnehan. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-109. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. The EVA ran from 0841 to 1606 UTC. The astronauts installed the NICMOS cooling system (NCS). During preparations for EVA-3, a problem with a valve on Grunsfeld's suit caused it to leak water, and Grunsfeld switched to Newman's suit. For each of EVA-3,4,5 the appropriate size legs and arms were replaced on the same basic HUT (Hard Upper Torso)/PLSS (Primary Life Support System) combination.

2002 March 9 - .
  • HST redeployed - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Columbia; HST. Summary: HST was deployed from Columbia at 1004 UTC on into a 578 x 584 km x 28.5 deg orbit..

2002 September 5 - .
  • Webb / Next Generation Space Telescope contract award - . Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: WST; HST. NASA awarded TRW a $824 million contract to build the Next Generation Space Telescope, redesignated the James Webb Space Telescope. TRW beat out Lockheed Martin, builder of the Hubble Space Telescope which the Webb was to replace. Launch of the 6-metre aperture telescope was not expected until 2010 at the earliest.

2004 April 15 - .
  • STS-122 (cancelled) - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-122A. Spacecraft: Columbia; HST. Summary: Flight delayed after the Columbia disaster. Columbia would have flown Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4. No crew had been named at the time of the loss of Columbia..

August 2005 - .
  • STS-128 (cancelled) - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-128A. Spacecraft: Columbia; HST. Summary: Flight delayed after the Columbia disaster. No crew had been named at the time of the loss of Columbia. Columbia would have flown Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Flight 5..

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