Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble @25

Overview

Many of astronomy’s pioneering discoveries and most iconic space images have come from the Hubble Space Telescope. Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has revealed hidden secrets of our universe that continue to inspire and awe scientists the world over. With more than one million observations, Hubble has enabled more than 11,000 scientific papers, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.

From the beginning, the Hubble Space Telescope was designed to allow astronauts to repair and upgrade it. This vision allowed NASA to repair critical equipment and update the sensitive instruments used to perform science observations with the latest technology during five servicing missions. Hubble has served as an ambassador for science by bridging the gap between astronomy and the public through spectacular images of the cosmos and dazzling space walks.

Our Role

Ball Aerospace built seven science instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope, two star trackers, five major leave-behind equipment subsystems and more than eight custom tools to support astronauts during servicing missions. The five science instruments now operating on the telescope were all designed and built by Ball.

Perhaps the most famous Ball-built Hubble instrument is the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) that helped correct Hubble’s hazy vision. Ball designed and produced the complex COSTAR optics in only 28 months instead of the typical 48. When COSTAR and JPL’s WFPC-2 camera corrected Hubble’s vision after the first servicing mission in 1993, Ed Weiler, NASA’s chief Hubble astronomer, said the telescope was "fixed beyond our wildest expectations." 

 

 

COS

COS

 The seven Ball-built science instruments are:

WFC3

WFC3

 Each Ball instrument installed on Hubble incorporated its own corrective optics and used leading edge technologies designed to deliver the highest science return.

Deep Instrument Expertise
Ball Aerospace has been involved with Hubble since the late 70’s when we were selected to build one of the original science instruments. At the time COSTAR was designed and built in the early 1990s, Ball had built more than 100 science instruments for NASA programs over a 30-year time span. Ball also had successfully completed technically challenging projects, some on extremely tight schedules.

Programs

CALIPSO

CloudSat

DSCOVR

EPOXI/Deep Impact

GEMS

GEO-TASO

GDPAA

GMI

Guardian

Green Propellant Infusion Mission

HiRISE

Hubble Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope

JPSS

F-35/Lightning II

K2/Kepler

Landsat 8

Mast-Mounted Sight

Mk 20 Camera

New Horizons/Ralph

OMPS

Orion

QuickBird

QuikSCAT

Replicated Diffractive Optics/MOIRE

SAGE

SAM

SBSS

SBUV/2

Seasparrow

Sentinel

Spitzer

STORRM

STP-SIV

Suomi NPP

TEMPO

WISE

WorldView spacecraft series

WorldView-1

WorldView-2

WorldView-3