Former astronaut John Grunsfeld reflects on what the Hubble Space Telescope has taught us over the past 20 years.">
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Academy Presentation: Recovery from Failure
Academy Brief: Congressional Operations Seminar
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Industry Brief: Lifelong Learning Imperative in Engineering
Research Brief: Project Management and Transparency
View from the Outside: UK Space Agency Established
This Month in NASA History: 20th Anniversary of Hubble Launch
Perched on the robotic arm, Andrew Feustel takes a close-up photo of John Grunsfeld. Credit: STScI/NASADubbed the "Chief Hubble Repairman," John Grunsfeld flew three of the five on-orbit servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Selected by NASA as an astronaut in March 1992, Grunsfeld has flown five space flights total, logging a total of 58 days in space and 58.5 hours of Extra Vehicular Activity over eight spacewalks. During his on-orbit servicing missions, Grunsfeld dealt with everything from installing telephone booth-sized instruments to removing 100-plus tiny screws on Hubble.
Shuttle Atlantis sits on Launch Pad 39A ready to accept the HST payload for STS-125. (Click image for close-up) Credit: NASA/Kim ShiflettATA: As robotic technology continues to develop, how do you see the division between human and robotic servicing capabilities changing in the future?
NASA APPEL visual timeline of "The Origins of the Hubble Telescope"
View slideshow on Flickr, where you may click Show Info to see detailed image captions.
Origins of the Hubble Space Telescope
|1923||German physicist Hermann Oberth proposes the idea of a large orbiting, multipurpose telescope capable of making observations without atmospheric obstruction.|
|1946||American astronomer Lyman Spitzer publishes his paper "Astronomical advantages of an extra-terrestrial observatory," which argues for the advantages of space-based telescopes.|
|1958||Congress passes the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which authorizes the creation of NASA.|
|1962||The United Kingdom launches Ariel 1, the first space telescope designed to study solar ultraviolet and X-ray radiation.|
|1962||NASA initiates the Orbiting Solar Observatories (OSO) program, which is designed to launch a series of satellites to cover the entire 11-year solar cycle. The eighth and final OSO satellite launches in June 1975. The program ends in October 1978.|
|1963||Stratoscope II, a 36-inch balloon telescope, successfully takes pictures of planets, satellites, and galactic nuclei. It flies its sixth and final successful mission in 1971.|
|1966||NASA launches the first satellite in the Orbiting Astronomical Observatories (OAO) program. Two of the four satellites in this program fail before or shortly after reaching orbit. The program ends with OAO-3 Copernicus, which operates until February 1981.|
|1969||National Academies urge construction of a large space telescope.|
|1971||NASA executive George Low approves feasibility studies by the Large Space Telescope (LST) Steering Group.|
|1975||European Space Research Organization (now European Space Agency) partners with NASA on LST.|
|1977||Congress approves $36 million in funds for the LST program in the FY78 budget.|
|1979||Astronauts begin training for the mission in underwater tank at Johnson Space Center.|
|1983||The Large Space Telescope is renamed the Hubble Space Telescope after Edwin Hubble, the astronomer who discovered the expansion of the universe from measurements of the red-shifted spectra of distant stars.|
|1981||The Space Telescope Science Institute is established in Baltimore to evaluate proposals for telescope time and manage the science program.|
|1985||Hubble Space Telescope construction completed.|
|1986||Challenger accident delays Hubble's October 1986 launch.|
|1990||Hubble launches on the STS-31 mission aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.|