Announcing the Publication of “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It”


Hubble's Legacy coverDavid H. DeVorkin and I have just published a collected work on the history of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It appeared in August 2014 (ISBN 978-1-935623-32-8) as part of the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press and is available for free download here. Print versions may also be purchased.

The blurb reads:

The development and operation of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have resulted in many rich legacies, most particularly in science and technology—but in culture as well. It is also the first telescope in space that has been utilized as effectively as if it were situated on a mountaintop here on earth, accessible for repair and improvement when needed. This book, which includes contributions from historians of science, key scientists and administrators, and one of the principal astronauts who led many of the servicing missions, is meant to capture the history of this iconic instrument. The book covers three basic phases of HST’s history and legacy: (1) conceiving and selling the idea of a large orbiting optical telescope to astronomers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. Congress, its creation as the HST, and its definition as a serviceable mission; (2) its launch, the discovery of the flawed mirror, the engineering of the mirror fix, subsequent servicing missions, decisions on upgrades, and the controversy over a “final” servicing mission; and (3) HST’s public image after launch—how the mirror fix changed its public image, how the HST then changed the way we visualize the universe, and how the public saved the final HST servicing mission. Collectively, this work offers a measured assessment of the HST and its contributions to science over more than 23 years. It brings together contributions from scholars, engineers, scientists, and astronauts to form an integrated story and to assess the long-term results from the mission.

Chapters include:

Part 1: Building the Hubble Space Telescope
Introduction: The Power of an Idea — Robert W. Smith
1. Conceiving of the Hubble Space Telescope: Personal Reflections — Nancy Grace Roman
2. Steps Toward the Hubble Space Telescope — C. Robert O’Dell
3. Building the Hubble Space Telescope as a Serviceable National Facility — Edward J. Weiler

Part 2: Crisis after Launch—Restoring Hubble’s Promise
Introduction: Servicing the Telescope — Joseph N. Tatarewicz
4. Constructing the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 — John Trauger
5. The Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) — Harold J. Reitsema
6. Hubble: Mission Impossible — John M. Grunsfeld

Part 3: The Impact of Hubble
Introduction: The Impact of the Hubble Space Telescope — Steven J. Dick
7. Recommissioning Hubble: Refurbished and Better than Ever — Kenneth R. Sembach
8. The Secrets of Hubble’s Success — David S. Leckrone
9. Creating Hubble’s Imagery — Zoltan Levay
10. Displaying the Beauty of the Truth: Hubble Images as Art and Science — Elizabeth A. Kessler
EPILOGUE: Exhibiting the Hubble Space Telescope — David DeVorkin, with sidebar by Joseph N. Tatarewicz

APPENDIX: The Decision to Cancel the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 (and Its Reversal) — Steven J. Dick

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2 Responses to Announcing the Publication of “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It”

  1. Pingback: Announcing the Publication of “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It” | jkmhoffman

  2. DFC says:

    Congratulations, and thank you for this.

    Like

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