The Hubble Wars: Astrophysics Meets Astropolitics in the Two-billion-dollar Struggle Over the Hubble Space Telescope

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Harvard University Press, 1998 - Nature - 386 pages
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The Hubble Space Telescope is the largest, most complex, and most powerful observatory ever deployed in space, designed to allow astronomers to look far back into our own cosmic past with unprecedented clarity. Yet from its launch in 1990, when it was discovered that a flawed mirror was causing severe "myopia" and sending fuzzy images back to Earth, the HST has been at the center of a controversy over who was at fault for the flaw and how it should be fixed. Now Chaisson, a former senior scientist on the HST project, tells the inside story of the much heralded mission to fix the telescope. Drawing on his journals, Chaisson recreates the day-to-day struggles of scientists, politicians, and publicists to fix the telescope and control the political spin. Illustrated with "before and after" full-color pictures from the telescope and updated with a new preface, The Hubble Wars tells an engaging tale of scientific comedy and error.

In this new edition, coming at the half-way point in the HST's planned mission of fifteen years, Chaisson has brought the Hubble story up-to-date by sorting out the spectacular from the mundane contributions the HST has made to our knowledge of the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the distant galaxies of deep space.


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User Review  - Kirkus

The astrophysicist and author of The Life Era (1987) relates in characteristic deadpan fashion the tumultuous history of the ill-fated (if recently redeemed) Hubble Space Telescope project. ``Given ... Read full review

The Hubble wars: astrophysics meets astropolitics in the two-billion-dollar struggle over the Hubble Space Telescope

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

When launched in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was billed by NASA as able to "see beyond the edge of the universe.'' The hype quickly turned into bureaucratic stonewalling when the telescope ... Read full review


Prologue Launch of Space Telescope
Deployment and Early Operations
Jitters in Space and on the Ground
HubblesFirst Light
Babel Revisited
Rocky Road to the Imaging Campaign
Inaugural Science Observations
More Early Science Results

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Digital Aesthetics
Sean Cubitt
Limited preview - 1998
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About the author (1998)

Eric J. Chaisson is Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the H. Dudley Center for Innovative Science Education at Tufts University. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn, nominated for the National Book Award for distinguished science writing.

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