Space-based Telescope

The idea of a space-based telescope can be traced back to the German rocket scientist Hermann Oberth, who noted in his 1923 work Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (The Rocket into Planetary Space) , how a telescope could be propelled into Earth orbit by a rocket. It was astronomer Lyman Spitzer, whose 1946 paper Astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory , became the basis for the project.Through the 1960s, reports and recommendations were prepared to support a Large Space Telescope, as the project was initially called. Congress approved funding for the Telescope in 1978. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) as it was renamed to honor astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched April 24, 1990, after numerous design and construction delays, along with flight delay due to the space shuttle Challenger accident.

Image of Grinding of the Hubble Space Telescope Mirror, 1979.
Grinding of the Hubble Space Telescope Mirror, 1979Public Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.