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  The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope

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Author Topic:   The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-23-2007 04:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It
by Robert Zimmerman
To put it simply, the Hubble Space Telescope is the telescope that would not die. Repeatedly in its history there have been efforts to stop its construction or end its use. All eventually failed.

On a fundamental human level, Hubble epitomized the inevitable and irresistible lure of the unknown. Everyone involved in the telescope's creation knew that a telescope above the atmosphere was going to see things that had never been seen before. No one could resist that promise.

The Universe in a Mirror tells the background story of the men and women who conceived, built, and saved the Hubble Space Telescope. Their effort, which often involved significant personal sacrifice, not only gave us all a spectacular glimpse into the unknown, it forever changed our perception of the universe.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0691132976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691132976

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-25-2007 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting that. Presumably the same Robert Zimmerman who wrote "Leaving Earth" and "Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8"?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-25-2007 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, as is mentioned on his website.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-25-2007 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert - I found his prior work very interesting reading, so will probably read this one too.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-26-2007 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agree- one of the most enjoyable space books I've read so far, because it links the Apollo 8 mission with the social/political/international context in which it took place. It puts things into perspective. One of those books you know you'll keep (others: Dragonfly, Into that Silent Sea (haven't read In the Shadow of the Moon yet ) and A man in the Moon (Chaikin).

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-05-2008 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The New York Times: Inside Story of the Telescope That Nearly Wasn't Built
Behind every pretty picture of the universe there is a lot of dirty work that had to be done to capture it.

When I was covering the space program in the 1980s, at some point during every space mission a NASA public affairs officer would corral a few science reporters and ask what to do when the space telescope was finally launched.

The space agency wanted to make sure its long-awaited and astronomically expensive telescope -- soon to be launched into orbit above the turbulent fog of the atmosphere -- made an appropriately cosmic splash. The advice from those of us in the press peanut gallery was always the same and simple: pictures -- cosmic postcards like the live pictures of other planets being transmitted from the Viking and Voyager spacecraft -- early and often. Little did I know how mortified the astronomers were by these suggestions. Having spent a decade or more of their lives building the telescopes and their instruments, they were terrified that somebody, some outsider, would take a ruler to one of those pictures and scoop them on some discovery -- something that had actually happened to one of the Voyager scientists.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 08-05-2008 04:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's an interesting read and quite amazing that the idea of a space telescope dates back to more than 40 years. What a struggle men and women had to go through to bring this project to fruition!- and quite miraculous that it made it to orbit! This side of the story reminded me of Bruce Murray's Journey into Space.

Then, you have similarities with both Challenger and Columbia (yeah, there's a problem but let's look the other way) which is quite scary (the flawed mirror)- makes you wonder if similar attitudes have been definitively eliminated within NASA and its contractors....

Otherwise an enjoyable read (ok, the author somewhat lost me with all the different persons involved but I'm not good with names so that's probably my fault!). The only annoying detail about the book is that too many sentences start with "For example...". But I'm picky.

Chris.

Philip
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Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 08-06-2008 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A must-have.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 01-06-2010 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A paperpack (new edition? as stated on Amazon) is due to be released on Feb. 20.

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