The Tale of Hubble



by Robert Arentz
Once upon a time, the idea of four Great Observatories was just an idea in the minds of many people at NASA, as well as a few universities.

And time passed. And things were discussed. And language was written. And money appeared. And people got busy. And then the first of the four Great Observatories was launched. And when it was launched, the Hubble Space Telescope carried within it our Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer. And then trouble ensued. And more things were done. And darkness covered the depressed.



So NASA went back to Hubble, this time carrying Ball’s Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement system.  And then the trouble with Hubble was over. And an entirely new Universe was revealed. And books were rewritten and minds were opened. And life was good. And the Hubble Space Telescope was literally up and running and brightness was everywhere.
And then Ball simultaneously built the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer and the Near Infrared Camera, Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), both of which were installed in Hubble by daring astronauts. And later, we supported NASA in attaching a non-Ball cryocooler to NICMOS, once its solid-nitrogen cryogen supply ran out.
And then we built the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and an even more amazing Universe was revealed. And even more books were rewritten. And a few more minds were opened. And things were even more better.


And then on the latest mission to Hubble in 2009, the plucky astronauts installed our Wide-Field Camera-3 and also our Cosmic Origins Spectrometer.  And since then newer books were written and amazing data has poured in from on high, and the Universe as a whole is known to be even more amazing.

And in the meantime, back at the ranch, entire careers at Ball have been spent designing, building and testing Hubble instruments. And at this very moment, every scientific instrument on board Hubble was designed and built and tested at Ball.

Hubble’s suite of Ball-built “eyes” have literally opened the world’s eyes to the Universe we call home.