The Physics of Accretion onto Compact Objects by Keith O. Mason, Michael G. Watson, Nicolas E. White

By Keith O. Mason, Michael G. Watson, Nicolas E. White

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Reviewing the scientific literature of the day, the pressure on NASA to deliver in the aftermath of the fiasco was palpable to say the least! The all-important COSTAR apparatus, designed and built by Ball Aerospace over the course of three years, together with WF/ PC 2, were both ready to be included on the first anticipated HST servicing mission, which was pushed forward to December 1993. In the hours leading up to the spacewalk to rejuvenate a myopic Hubble, a 50-strong army of astronomers and engineers nervously congregated around a large television screen as that first picture was downloaded for analysis.

2 HST’s mirror blank being ground (Image credit: NASA) The Hubble Space Telescope: Trials and Triumphs 29 to take a more active role in overseeing the HST project. Accordingly, a new project manager, John Welch, was appointed and NASA contracted BDM Corporation to undertake systems engineering of various components of HST’s design. With a considerably enlarged budget, NASA made it a priority to greatly reduce the risk of the entire program by increasing both the number of spare components as well as the number of replacement units that could be placed in orbit.

From our observations, all galaxies appear to be moving away from us. The Hubble constant has further use. The law suggests that the universe is expanding and if the rate of expansion is assumed to be fixed, then the Hubble constant may be used to determine the age of the cosmos. Time = distance (d)/ speed (v), so Hubble’s law gives d/v = 1/Ho. Thus, 1/Ho yields the age of the universe. 8 billion years. One of the biggest problems with getting LST up and going was to persuade a generally skeptical public that such a mission was worthwhile from an economic and scientific standpoint.

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