Hubble Space Telescope Media Kit
NASA’s Hubble Mission
The historic mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope included the installation of two instruments built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2009, at 2:01 EDT. Astronauts installed two Ball science instruments and restored two previously installed Ball instruments to peak performance.
Astronauts installed the Ball Aerospace-built Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3); and upgraded two critical Ball instruments: the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), installed in 1997; and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), installed during the 2002 servicing mission. The celebrated mission will extend the operating life of the telescope and greatly enhance its scientific capability.
Click here to see full Video News Release.
Mark LaPole, Hubble Program Manager
Program Manager Profile
Mark LaPole Ph.D. is the Hubble mission program manager for Ball Aerospace.
What’s the coolest thing about servicing mission four to Hubble?
The Ball Aerospace optics, when installed, will provide the space telescope with capabilities 30 to 50 times as great as at present. Hubble will steal the science headlines for a decade.
Hubble Mission: The Ball Aerospace "WOW" Factor
Ball Aerospace has been involved in building Hubble instruments since June 1978, meaning Hubble has been an integral part of Ball’s identity for 30 years.
- Ball has built seven instruments for Hubble.
- Following SM4, all the instruments aboard Hubble will be Ball-built.
- Ball has used its expertise to expertly align Hubble’s optics to provide the best imaging performance possible.
- Hundreds of Ball engineers and scientists have devoted their careers to understanding Hubble and how to provide the best possible instruments for the maximum science.
- Ball’s WFC3’s near-infrared will allow the telescope to “see” several hundred million years back, rather than the mere 13 million the Hubble can see now; and see objects five times fainter than currently possible.
- WFC3’s detectors, integrated by Ball, are the most state-of-the-art detectors ever flown on orbit.
- Ball’s COS will explore the “cosmic web” to reveal much more about how and when distant stars and planets were formed.
- Ball’s COS is the most sensitive spectrograph to ever fly in orbit.
- Ball has played a significant role in working with NASA to build Crew Aids and Tools that will help shorten the time the astronauts need for installation.
- Ball’s ACS (2002) increased Hubble’s discovery efficiency tenfold, allowing discovery of more distance objects in a fraction of the time.
- Ball’s STIS (1997) expanded the capabilities of GHRS, furthering scientists’ understanding of the origins, properties and dynamics of stars as well as planets and their moons.
- Ball’s NICMOS (1997) discovered planets outside our solar system and the farthest and faintest galaxies ever observed.
- Ball’s COSTAR (1993 mission) significantly corrected the spherical aberration in the Hubble primary mirror – fixing the Hubble’s blurry vision. (For SM4, COSTAR will be removed – COS goes in).
- Ball’s GHRS (aboard 1990 launch) confirmed the existence of black holes in the universe.
Recent Hubble Press Releases
November 14, 2008: STS-125 Astronauts Visit Ball Aerospace
Hubble in the News:
February 15, 2009: Boulder Daily Camera
November 15, 2008: Rocky Mountain News
November 14, 2008: Boulder Daily Camera
September 17, 2008: Colorado Daily
August 8, 2008: Aviation Week http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/aw0080408p1.xml
Other links to Hubble: