How Hubble Space Telescope Works

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit in 1990.

It has since become the most powerful tool ever developed to study the universe.

How Hubble Space Telescope Works

Its primary mission is to observe distant galaxies and other objects in deep space.

Hubble is a space observatory that uses a large mirror to focus light from distant stars and galaxies onto a camera.

This allows scientists to see details that would otherwise be invisible.

What Is The Hubble Space Telescope?

The Hubble telescope got its name from Edwin Hubble, who observed galaxies and different stars and proved our universe was constantly expanding.

He also discovered that there were billions of other galaxies out there. The Hubble telescope was launched into orbit in 1986.

This telescope has been used by many astronomers to study the expansion of the universe.

We’re going to discuss how Hubble has been a key player in space documentation and how exactly it works to make these documentations.

Initial Problem

After the Hubble made its maiden voyage, scientists discovered that the primary mirrors of the telescope were ground to the wrong dimensions.

Although the problem with these mirrors – roughly equivalent to one-fifth the thickness of a human hair – could seem to be quite small, it was a big problem and the Hubble suffered from spherical aberration and produced blurry images.

Astronomers designed a corrective lens called the corrective optics space telescope axial replacement or COSTAR for short.

This consists of many little mirrors that intercept the beam from the faulty mirror, remedy the problem, and shoot the fixed beam back to the Hubble instruments.

Crew and staff spent almost a year getting ready for this mission. It took them 7 days to fix everything.

When the telescope was tried after being repaired, the pictures were much better than before.

Now all the instruments on Hubble are corrected for the mirror’s flaw. COSTAR is required no more.

How Does It Work?



Hubble’s main instrument is called the Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).

This camera was designed by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

WFPC2 consists of four CCD chips, each of which contains an array of hundreds of thousands of tiny photosites.

Each chip covers a portion of the sky that is roughly equal to the full moon seen from Earth.

The four chips together cover a large swath of space.

The telescope’s second instrument is the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), which was designed by STScI and built by Ball Aerospace.

NICMOS is a coronagraphic imager that uses a mask to block out most of the light coming from stars so that astronomers can study the faint light.

The mirrors are used by scientists to study stars and galaxies.

The primary mirror is 2.4 meters wide and the secondary mirror is 0.3 meters wide.

Hubble’s Scientific Instruments: Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), Near Infrared Camera, and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS).

By looking at the different wavelengths, or the spectrum of the light, of a celestial body, you can discern many properties.

WFPC2 is Hubble’s main camera. It takes pictures using 4 CCDs positioned in an L shape.

The target picture is centered on a specific CCD. It can see both visible and UV light.

It can take pictures using different filters to produce natural-color shots.

A telescope named after Hubble can see the infrared lights of stars hidden by dust and gas. This instrument was made by NASA.

The telescope is used to illuminate objects in space. The light coming from these objects reveals information about them.

This information includes the chemical makeup of the object, its temperature, density, and motion.

Hubble’s new camera was named after American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble. He discovered many galaxies and nebulae.

Hubble’s telescope also has an instrument called the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS).

This instrument provides spectroscopy of stars, gas clouds, and nebulae.

The ACS was installed to help map dark matter, detect the furthest objects in the universe, search for massive planets, and study the evolution of galaxy clusters.

In January 2007, the electrical supply failed, disabling two of the three cameras.


The Hubble Space Telescope has 3 fine guidance sensors.

Two of them steer the telescope while the third measures star positions. The telescope has been used to discover many exoplanets.

Hubble’s Spacecraft Systems generate power and talk to ground control.

Hubble’s Spacecraft Systems include a solar array, batteries, gyroscopes, thrusters, and communications equipment.

The Hubble Space Telescope needs lots of electricity to operate. Solar panels help generate the necessary power.

The HST also needs to talk to the ground control station.

This communication is done by using a satellite network called the Tracking and Data-Relay Satellite System (TDRS).

There are currently 5 TDRS satellites in orbit around the earth.



The Hubble Telescope has two main computers that help communicate with the ground.

One computer controls the telescope while the other helps control the instruments. There are backup computers in case of an emergency.

A telescope uses four antennas to send and receive information. The information is then sent to STScI.

There, scientists translate the information into scientific units such as wavelengths or brightness.


Gyroscopes keep track of the movement of Hubble. The flight computer keeps track of the movement of the spacecraft.

The flight computer tells the reaction wheels to turn the telescope.

The HST uses two types of sensors to keep it pointed toward its target star.

Gyroscopes keep the telescope steady as it orbits Earth. The other sensor keeps the telescope locked on the guide star.

The HST uses reaction wheels instead of rockets or thrusters to control its movement.

The HST uses flywheels to provide the necessary torque to turn in any direction.

One Of The Most Important Pieces Of Equipment In Space Discovery

Hubble is an amazing telescope that helps us see things we could never see before.

It is used by scientists to study galaxies billions of light-years away. Hubble’s future is uncertain because of hurricane Ike.

Atlantis blasted off on October 14th, 2008. Seven astronauts were aboard. The mission lasted eleven days.

On September 29th, 2008, NASA postponed this mission because of a serious problem.

This problem caused the telescope to stop taking pictures. This problem happened because of a failure in Hubble’s command and control system.

The space shuttle Atlantis was scheduled to launch today. But the launch had been delayed because of a problem with the main engine.

NASA has sent a replacement part to fix the problem. Before that can happen, NASA needs to test the replacement part.

To do that, NASA must train the astronauts on how to use the new part.

Meanwhile, NASA is trying to activate the backup channel so that the telescope can transmit data.

Final Thoughts

Hubble is an amazing space telescope that brings us close to the universe. It was built by NASA and launched into orbit in 1990.

Hubble has discovered many things including the first evidence of planets orbiting other stars. It also found the first evidence of black holes.

Gordon Watts