Hubble Space Telescope Media Kit
Pillars of Creation, 2014. NASA, ESA, STScI, Hester/Scowen (ASU)
Hubble @ 25
The Hubble Space Telescope, operating with five instruments built by Ball Aerospace, continues to reveal hidden secrets of the universe and deliver astounding images of distant stars and galaxies.
During the final Hubble servicing mission in 2009, 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 mission extended the operating life of the telescope and greatly enhanced its scientific capability.
Out of this whirl. Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI/AURA
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.
Hubble in the News:
March 12, 2015 USA Today
Other links to Hubble: