The Big Bang Theory

Hubble Space Telescope

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Hubble in orbit1

The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit above Earth

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was placed in orbit by the American Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. With a 7.9 foot main aperture, the main scientific instruments observe space in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared{ electromagnetic spectrum. Astronomer Edwin Hubble is the telescope’s namesake. He identified the red shift observed in the spectra of light from other galaxies and determined that it increased in proportion to a particular galaxy's distance from Earth.

Without the distortion due to the atmosphere by being permanently positioned in low earth orbit, it has taken pictures of the farthest objects ever seen in the universe and very detailed pictures of closer objects. Five service missions were made to the Hubble Telescope including adjusting it to correct the faulty mirror system originally installed in it. The telescope is expected to operate until at least 2014.

Astronaut Dr. Mike Massimino twice visited the Hubble during Space Shuttle repair missions and guest starred during a video conference call with Howard giving him the nickname “Froot Loops" and on later episodes went to the International Space Station with Howard to install Howard's new telescope design. Later he has continued his friendship with Howard.

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