Astronomy Today

Space Telescopes

How was the Hubble Space Telescope project constructed and deployed?

The initial proposal for an orbiting telescope was made in 1946 by the American astronomer Lyman Spitzer, Jr. (1914–1997). In the early 1970s, as the Apollo program came to an end, NASA accepted an initial proposal for a space telescope. However, the U.S. Congress delayed the project because of the expense. In 1977 the European Space Agency joined the United States as a partner, agreeing to provide 15 percent of the support and equipment needed for the space telescope project in exchange for 15 percent of the telescope’s observing time.

The construction of the Hubble Space Telescope took eight years and about 1.5 billion dollars. It was completed in 1985. The launch was delayed after the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, which grounded the shuttle fleet for more than two and a half years. The HST was finally deployed by the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App