The Hubble Space Telescope began taking spectacular photographs of the cosmos just as the Internet spread its web on Earth, granting public access to these astonishing, beautiful, and unprecedented images. So cherished were these glimpses into the universe, when NASA announced in 2004 that it would end the shuttle missions necessary to service the telescope, the protest was vehement enough to rescind the decision. This handsome volume celebrates the technological and scientific breakthroughs that have made the Hubble such a resounding success. The full, up-to-date story is told in glorious photographs and the equally sparkling commentary of Hubble experts DeVorkin and Smith. From a profile of the brilliant astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889–1953) to detailed explanations of how the spectacular photographs of such phenomena as the Orion Nebula (its portrait required 150 orbits) were taken, the authors cover the people, science, and aesthetics of the stellar Hubble era. Not only are the telescope’s contributions to science beyond quantification, DeVorkin and Smith aver, the images the Hubble has gathered have also had profound effects on our imagination and spiritual growth. --Donna Seaman
About the Author
David Devorkin is curator for history and astronomy and the space sciences at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. In his more than 30-year career, he has written over 90 articles and seven books. He lives in Maryland.
Robert Smith is professor of history and past chair of the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, and formerly a staff member at the National Air and Space Museum. His books include the award-winning The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology and Politics.
He has closely followed Hubble’s history for 20 years.