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Hubble Space Telescope

Discussion in 'Earth and Space' started by TopSecret, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. TopSecret

    TopSecret I told on you! Staff Founders


    Hubble Facts

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was launched April 24, 1990, on the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
    • Hubble has made more than 1.2 million observations since its mission began in 1990.
    • Astronomers using Hubble data have published more than 12,800 scientific papers, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.
    • Hubble does not travel to stars, planets or galaxies. It takes pictures of them as it whirls around Earth at about 17,000 mph.
    • Hubble has traveled more than 3 billion miles along a circular low Earth orbit currently about 340 miles in altitude.
    • Hubble has no thrusters. To change pointing angles, it uses Newton’s third law by spinning its wheels in the opposite direction. It turns at about the speed of a minute hand on a clock, taking 15 minutes to turn 90 degrees.
    • Hubble has the pointing accuracy of .007 arc seconds, which is like being able to shine a laser beam on a dime 200 miles away.
    • Outside the haze of our atmosphere, Hubble can see astronomical objects with an angular size of 0.05 arc seconds, which is like seeing a pair of fireflies in Tokyo from your home in Maryland.
    • Hubble has peered back into the very distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light years from Earth.
    • The Hubble archive contains more than 100 Terabytes, and Hubble science data processing generates about 10 Terabytes of new archive data per year.
    • Hubble weighed about 24,000 pounds at launch and currently weighs about 27,000 pounds following the final servicing mission in 2009 – on the order of two full-grown African elephants.
    • Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) across.
    • Hubble is 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long -- the length of a large school bus.

    For more info about how it works and the people behind it:

    To see the entire Hubble photo collection:

    Rumor has it that, since it does not get any more maintenance, Hubble will only be around for another 5 years, give or take. It's successor will be the Webb telescope. To learn more:
  2. Grip

    Grip Archer Founders

    Too bad it couldn't be recaptured and put in the Smithsonian. Get ready to roast your mellows in about 5 years I guess.
  3. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    I saw something about this last night- they expect it to mostly burn up on re-entry, with the larger pieces hitting the Pacific Ocean.

    Yeah, it would be cool to recapture it. Ben Bova wrote a series of books on Mars in which old rovers are scheduled to be "salvaged" and sold to collectors. The money raised to pay for further commercialization of the planet.

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