NASA Telescope Hubble Space Telescope

>>NASA- Telescope- Hubble Space Telescope 

NASA named the world's first space-based optical telescope after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889 -- 1953). Dr. Hubble confirmed an "expanding" universe, which provided the foundation for the big-bang theory.

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In 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope began its mission after being deployed by Shuttle Discovery on April 25, 1990. Earlier this month, in terms of scientific operations, the spacecraft went offline. At least for a short while.

Hubble is the flagship of NASA’s “Great Observatories” program and on Oct. 5 a faulty gyroscope (gyro) required engineers on the ground to suspend the telescope’s operations and develop a means to bring Hubble out of safe mode.

It took that team about three weeks to bring one of the backup gyros online and ran into some issues with getting it to operate properly (it had been offline for seven years). On Oct. 27 at 2:10 a.m. ET (06:10 GMT) – Hubble began observing the distant, star-forming galaxy DSF2237B-1-IR. The telescope used its Wide Field Camera 3 instrument to capture the images in the infrared wavelengths. The feat is all the more impressive considering that it had only resumed “normal” operations one day earlier. 

As has been detailed earlier, gyros measure the rotation speeds of telescopes. Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer and other space-based telescopes use these devices to remain fixed accurately on the targets scientists want them aimed at. HST is now back in action with three operating gyros.

If one were to go off of original estimates, Hubble could have gone out of service sometime in 2005. With the redundancies and procedures that were put in place and the servicing missions that visited the spacecraft in the intervening years, Hubble has far surpassed its warranty. It is hoped that the telescope could remain in operations into the next decade.

The last servicing mission to Hubble, STS-125 was conducted on Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2009. With NASA’s fleet of shuttle orbiters now residing in museums or tourists spots, there is no means to carry out any additional maintenance flights to the telescope. 


  1. Launch: April 24, 1990, from space shuttle Discovery (STS-31)
  2. Deployment: April 25, 1990
  3. First Image: May 20, 1990: Star cluster NGC 3532
  4. Servicing Mission 1 (STS-61): December 1993
  5. Servicing Mission 2 (STS-82): February 1997
  6. Servicing Mission 3A (STS-103): December 1999
  7. Servicing Mission 3B (STS-109): February 2002
  8. Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125): May 2009


  1. Length: 43.5 feet (13.2 m)
  2. Weight: At Launch:  about 24,000 pounds (10,886 kg)
  3. Post SM4:  about 27,000 pounds (12,247 kg)
  4. Maximum Diameter: 14 feet (4.2 m)

Spaceflight Statistics:- 
  1. ​Low Earth Orbit: Altitude of 340 miles (295 nautical miles, or 547 km), inclined 28.5 degrees to the equator
  2. Time to Complete One Orbit: about 95 minutes
  3. Speed: about 17,000 mph (27,300 kph)

Optical Capabilities
  1. Sensitivity to Light: Ultraviolet through Infrared (115–2500 nanometers)
  2. Hubble's Mirrors
  3. Primary Mirror Diameter: 94.5 inches (2.4 m)
  4. Primary Mirror Weight: 1,825 pounds (828 kg)
  5. Secondary Mirror Diameter: 12 inches (0.3 m)
  6. Secondary Mirror Weight: 27.4 pounds (12.3 kg)

Pointing Accuracy:-
In order to take images of distant, faint objects, Hubble must be extremely steady and accurate. The telescope is able to lock onto a target without deviating more than 7/1000th of an arcsecond, or about the width of a human hair seen at a distance of 1 mile.

Data Statistics:-
  • Hubble transmits about 150 gigabits of raw science data every week.
  • Power Needs
  • Energy Source: The Sun
  • Mechanism: Two 25-foot solar panels
  • Power Generation (in Sunlight): about 5,500 watts
  • Power Usage (Average): about 2,100 watts
  • Power Storage
  • Batteries: 6 nickel-hydrogen (NiH)
  • Storage Capacity: Equal to about 22 average car batteries

Did you know...
Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since its mission began in 1990.
Astronomers using Hubble data have published more than 15,000 scientific papers, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.  Those papers have been cited in other papers 738,000 times.
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 circled Earth and gone more than 4 billion miles along a circular low earth orbit currently about 340 miles in altitude.
Hubble has no thrusters. To change 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 President Roosevelt’s head on a dime about 200 miles away.
Outside the haze of our atmosphere, it can see astronomical objects with an angular size of 0.05 arc seconds, which is like seeing a pair of fireflies in Tokyo that are less than 10 feet apart from Washington, DC.
Due to the combination of optics and sensitive detectors and with no atmosphere to interfere with the light reaching it, Hubble can spot a night light on the surface of the Moon from Earth.
Hubble has peered back into the very distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth.
Hubble generates about 10 terabytes of new data per year. The total archive is currently over 150 TB in size. 
Hubble weighed about 24,000 pounds at launch but if returned to Earth today would weigh about 27,000 pounds — on the order of two full-grown African elephants.
Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) across.  It was so finely polished that if you scaled it to be the diameter of the Earth, you would not find a bump more than 6 inches tall.
Hubble is 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long — the length of a large school bus.

Declaration: The above data is based on the NASA report  : You may visit to NASA websites also. 

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