IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Hubble in orbit: the third decade
The Hubble Space Telescope reached its twentieth orbital birthday on 24 April 2010. During the previous May, the spacecraft had been subject to the most intense overhaul of its life with astronauts from the Space Shuttle Atlantis performing engineering feats far beyond what was originally envisaged for orbital servicing. In addition to fitting two new state-of-the-art instruments, two of the existing - and still extremely powerful - instruments that had suffered electronic failures, were repaired during the most complex human process that had yet been performed in space. Along with new batteries and gyroscopes, the telescope was left some hundred times more powerful than when it was launched in 1990.
This is the story of Hubble as it progresses through its third decade, looking back on the revolution in astrophysics that it had achieved and forward to what it is enabling now in its probings of the early history of the universe and through to the study of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets.
This lecture is free and open to all.
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