Hubble Space Telescope Anniversary Patch« back
This full colour patch measures approx 10cm x 7.5 cm (4" x 3")
A limited edition of only 100 patches - a 'Spaceboosters' exclusive.
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a collaboration between ESA and NASA, is a 2.4 m-diameter space telescope optimised to observe from the ultraviolet to the infrared. Launched in 1990 and designed to be refurbished in space by astronauts, Hubble is one of the greatest scientific projects of all time. Since launch, it has opened our eyes to the wonders of our ‘planetary’ backyard and beyond. In so many ways, Hubble has revolutionised modern astronomy, not only by being an efficient tool for making new discoveries, but also by changing the way astronomical research is done.
At the heart of HST is a 2.4 m-diameter primary mirror. This supplies light to a collection of five science instruments that work across the entire optical spectrum: from infrared, through the visible, to ultraviolet light.
It has three cameras, two spectrographs and a set of Fine Guidance Sensors that allow Hubble to accurately point to targets on the sky. HST was placed in a low orbit and was designed to be serviced in space by astronauts on the Space Shuttle, thus allowing instruments to be replaced as technology improved, and observatory subsystems to be repaired and modernised.
Power for the computers and scientific instruments is provided by two solar wings. The solar wings also charge six nickel-hydrogen batteries that power the spacecraft for about 25 minutes per orbit while it flies through Earth's shadow.
The telescope uses an elaborate system of attitude controls to improve its stability during observations. Reaction wheels manoeuvre the telescope into place, and gyroscopes monitor its position in space. Fine Guidance Sensor units are used to lock onto guide stars to ensure the extremely high pointing accuracy needed to make precise observations.
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