Friday, November 28, 2008

Papercraft Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope (one of NASA's "Great Observatories") is without a doubt the world's most famous telescope.

It was fortunate though that the Hubble was (the only space telescope ever) designed for maintenance in space, because right after it had been carried into orbit by the space shuttle "Discovery" in April 1990 and it started sending back pictures, it was discovered that one of the mirrors was not polished properly...

It would take three years to correct this problem, but once it was, Hubble's new pictures, were some of the most beautiful and detailed pictures of our universe ever taken. The most famous picture it took perhaps is that of the M16 Eagle Nebula NGC 6611. This picture of the "Pillars of Creation" taken on November 2nd 1995, inspired many scientists and amateur astronomers: those are stars being born...

The Hubble has expanded our knowledge of our universe but now it is growing old and tired... And with today's powerful computers that are able to compensate for the light distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere, it is becoming obsolete...

Because it's a public's favorite, NASA decided to give its a few extra years though. If you want to know more about the Hubble Space Telescope, the Hubble Site is a great resource. Of course you can also download the plans to build your own hand-held Hubble from paper (or from PVC if you want to).
Have fun building!

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