The Hubble Wars (Paperback)

Astrophysics Meets Astropolitics in the Two-Billion-Dollar Struggle Over the Hubble Space Telescope, with a New Prefac

By Eric J. Chaisson

Harvard University Press, 9780674412552, 406pp.

Publication Date: May 3, 1998



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. 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 centre of a controversy over who was at fault for the flaw and how it should be fixed. Eric Chaisson, the 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 politcal spin. Illustrated with before and after full-colour pictures from the telescope and updated with a new preface. This book tells a story of scientific comedy and error.