Fixing Hubble’s blurry vision

April 24, 2015 5:57 AM

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It was June 27, 1990, and Weiler, the chief scientist with the Hubble Space Telescope program, was about to tell a room full of skeptical reporters that the newly launched $1.5 billion observatory’s supposedly flawless 94.5-inch primary mirror had been ground to the wrong shape and was unable to bring starlight to a crisp focus.

Just two months earlier, to great fanfare and bold promises about the wonders Hubble would reveal, the space telescope had been launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery. Four weeks later, after working through the usual sorts of commissioning snags, a “first light” image of a nondescript star fie...

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