Sunday, April 24, 2016

Today in History

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Hubble Telescope's 26th Anniversary

Today in 1990, the space shuttle Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit around our planet. It's hard to fathom the impact of the images it has sent us since then, not only to astronomers and scientists, but to the public.

The folks who run the Hubble telescope playfully picked this expanding Bubble Nebula as their "birthday balloon image" - check out their press release, and more images, here.

There is a nice documentary with a lot of images and no celebrity narrators called Hubble's Enduring Legacy, free to stream for Amazon Prime members (ObLink to free 30 day trial here).

The last time the Hubble Telescope was serviced was in 2009. It is estimated that it can continue functioning up to 2030 or 2040. A replacement telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in October 2018.

Have a great Sunday!


  1. Making sure I can comment before I post.

  2. Well, I certainly had to jump through some blogspot and Google hoops for the previous comment. Did't have any accounts fully set up so it's on me.

    Now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, space stuff. Sad to say but I haven't paid much attention to the space program since the Shuttles were retired. I realize much work still goes on with unmanned exploration, and that next generation manned rockets/ vechicles are being developed and tested as I write this- also the ISS is still up there- but my interest has waned.

    I miss the now "olden" days of manned launches (I include women with this term) from Florida, and landings on American soil or in territorial waters. So, until reading this post, I had no clue they were this close to having a new space telescope to compliment and eventually replace Hubble.

    To know they are naming it after Jim Webb is heartwarming. He was, and will always be the Apollo Mission Man to me. So thanks for the post.

    As an aside... I have been on the riverbanks of Titusville for two glorious launches of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. It consumed many years of vacation time, planning, and plain ole dumb luck to see one and much less two launches. That it was the same Shuttle both times gives me a real ownership feeling about Endeavor.

    1. It is certainly a lot more exciting when there are people being shot into space!
      It's nice they named the telescope after one of the people behind the scenes who made so much of the NASA program actually work. I hope the JWST goes up on schedule - it was originally supposed to go up several years ago, but you know how these big projects always go overschedule and over budget. I think it will have a lot more capability than Hubble so that's something to look forward to.