Hubble Space Telescope
The four early observation images released Sept. 9, 2009. These four images are among the first made by the new Ball Aerospace-built Wide Field Camera 3.
Ball Aerospace is playing a major role in the success of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Deployed in 1990, the Hubble Telescope is an on-orbit astronomical observatory that is revolutionizing our understanding of the make-up of the universe.
All of the instruments currently on board the Hubble Space Telescope are Ball Aerospace-built.
Ball Aerospace built the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which were installed during Servicing Mission 4. The mission should extend the telescope’s operating life until at least 2013, and greatly enhance its scientific capability.
Ball Aerospace has been involved in the Hubble program throughout its history. The company delivered the following instruments for Hubble’s launch and subsequent servicing missions:
- Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS), one of the original science instruments launched on board the Hubble Space Telescope; it was removed in 1997
- Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR), the supplemental optics installed into Hubble Space Telescope in 1993 that successfully corrected the spherical aberration of Hubble’s primary mirror
- Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), one of two axial replacements installed in 1997
- Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), the second of two axial replacements installed in 1997
- Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) was installed during the March 2002 servicing mission
Each of the Ball Aerospace-built science instruments incorporated cutting-edge technological advancements that provided the Hubble Space Telescope with new capabilities, helping scientists peer into the heavens deeper than ever before.