3:30–4:30 pm ERC 161
The Hubble Space Telescope story has been a fascinating study in public policy, engineering, ethics, and science. The Hubble is perhaps the most productive scientific instrument ever created by humans. In May 2009, a team of astronauts flew to the Hubble Space Telescope on space shuttle Atlantis. On their 13-day mission and over the course of 5 spacewalks they completed an extreme makeover of the orbiting observatory. They installed the Wide Field Camera-3, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, repaired the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, as well as a number of maintenance activities. These Hubble spacewalks are considered the most challenging and daring efforts ever of people working in space. This mission also carried a bit of the University of Chicago with it on board. Now, still going strong on orbit, the Hubble has a full complement of instruments capable of performing state-of-the-art observations from the near infra-red to the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. In this talk we will present a narrative of the adventure, and a look at what some of the scientific results may offer in the search for life beyond Earth in our Solar System.