Book ID: CBB905524834

Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut's Story of Invention (2019)


The first American woman to walk in space recounts her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope.The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe. It has, among many other achievements, revealed thousands of galaxies in what seemed to be empty patches of sky; transformed our knowledge of black holes; found dwarf planets with moons orbiting other stars; and measured precisely how fast the universe is expanding. In Handprints on Hubble, retired astronaut Kathryn Sullivan describes her work on the NASA team that made all of this possible. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, recounts how she and other astronauts, engineers, and scientists launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained Hubble, the most productive observatory ever built.Along the way, Sullivan chronicles her early life as a “Sputnik Baby,” her path to NASA through oceanography, and her initiation into the space program as one of “thirty-five new guys.” (She was also one of the first six women to join NASA's storied astronaut corps.) She describes in vivid detail what liftoff feels like inside a spacecraft (it's like “being in an earthquake and a fighter jet at the same time”), shows us the view from a spacewalk, and recounts the temporary grounding of the shuttle program after the Challenger disaster.Sullivan explains that “maintainability” was designed into Hubble, and she describes the work of inventing the tools and processes that made on-orbit maintenance possible. Because in-flight repair and upgrade was part of the plan, NASA was able to fix a serious defect in Hubble's mirrors―leaving literal and metaphorical “handprints on Hubble.” Handprints on Hubble was published with the support of the MIT Press Fund for Diverse Voices.

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Authors & Contributors
Leverington, David
McCray, W. Patrick
Smith, Robert William
DeVorkin, David H.
Zimmermann, Robert
Hamel, Jürgen
Spontaneous Generations
Physics in Perspective
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Journal of Geophysical Research
Harvard University Press
Cambridge University Press
National Geographic Society
Princeton University Press
Verlag Harri Deutsch
Palgrave Macmillan
Astronomical observatories
Space research and exploration
Space travel; space flight
Ansari, Anousheh
Terian, Alenush
Farquhar, Robert W.
Lovell, Alfred Charles Bernard
Ovshinsky, Stanford R.
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
United States
New Zealand
Great Britain
Hubble Space Telescope
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Mars Exploration Rover Mission (U.S.)
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories, Jodrell Bank
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena

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