Saving Hubble

Jeff Hecht

Shortly after the launch of the Hubble, NASA scientists couldn’t bring its images into focus—and a bright hope became a grim fiasco. But behind the scenes, optical engineers were devising an ingenious fix that would transform Hubble into the world’s most successful telescope.


figureHubble against Earth’s horizon.

When the Hubble Space Telescope launched from the shuttle Discovery in April 1990, it carried with it the hopes and dreams of astronomers everywhere. The state-of-the-art NASA instrument was expected to show scientists their clearest view ever of the cosmos.

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