Hubble Telescope Discoveries In History

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The funding issues led to something of a reduction in the scale of the project, with the proposed mirror diameter reduced from 3 m to 2. 4 m, both to cut costs and to allow a more compact and effective configuration for the telescope hardware. A proposed precursor 1. 5 m (4. 9 ft) space telescope to test the systems to be used on the main satellite was dropped, and budgetary concerns also prompted collaboration with the European Space Agency. ESA agreed to provide funding and supply one of the first generation instruments for the telescope, as well as the solar cells that would power it, and staff to work on the telescope in the United States, in return for European astronomers being guaranteed at least 15% of the observing time on the telescope. Congress eventually approved funding of US$36 million for 1978, and the design of the LST began in earnest, aiming for a launch date of 1983. In 1983 the telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, who confirmed one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century, made by Georges Lemaître, that the universe is expanding.


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