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  What was the first telescope in space?

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Author Topic:   What was the first telescope in space?
Redglare
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Posts: 11
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 02-28-2018 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Redglare     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am curious how others would answer this question: what was the first telescope in space?

I read that Skylab's Apollo Telescope Mount contained the first telescopes in space. A general search online states that Hubble Telescope was the first in space or was it the UK's Ariel 1 satellite? Is the difference how we define what a telescope is?

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-28-2018 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An Earth-imaging satellite, civilian or military, could be considered as a telescope.

For "traditional" telescopes, you can consult Wikipedia: List of space telescopes.

nasamad
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From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 02-28-2018 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 16’s UV camera was a telescope I think.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-28-2018 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you count earth-pointing telephoto lenses five-to-nine feet long, then I would argue that the first space-based telescopes were launched in the so-called Discoverer program.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 02-28-2018 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
If you count earth-pointing telephoto lenses five-to-nine feet long...
They weren't five-to-nine feet long. The width of the spacecraft was only 5 feet.

If you were thinking of lengthwise, then that would be GAMBIT vs CORONA.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4119
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2018 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aerobee took scopes aloft in the 50s.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2018 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unless I am misunderstanding the spirit of the question, it would seem "telescope" in this usage is not simply a telephoto lens, but a tool for imaging the cosmos.

If correct, then that would exclude reconnaissance satellites and suborbital imaging platforms.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4119
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2018 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the caveat is non-suborbital okay (but should have been stipulated initially). Aerobee did fly cosmos observing telescopes for spectrographic and UV data collection during the 50s.

Cozmosis22
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From: Texas * Earth
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posted 04-06-2018 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to this early SPACE CRAFT cover produced by the inimitable Carl Swanson; the nearly one meter lens Orbiting Astronomical Observatory was the first. Launched 52 years ago, April 8th, from Cape Canaveral.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-11-2018 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to add to that, I have an old press cutting from 21st Dec. 1970 reporting the failed launch of Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) 3 which carried a 38-inch telescope and cost £40 million (around $100 million). The name OAO-3 was later given to the successful "Copernicus" space telescope.

OAO-1 reached orbit in 1966 but its solar panels failed to deploy and the mission ended after 3 days. OAO-2 was launched successfully in Deceember, 1968 and operated until January, 1973.

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