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 Eric 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.