2015 year Reviews

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Owners’ Workshop Manual

David Baker,

Haynes Publishing, 2015, 181pp,

hardback £22.99;

ISBN 978-0-85733-797-9

The Hubble Space Telescope is one the most iconic spacecraft of the entire Space Age and this Haynes Workshop Manual provides a good introduction to the science and technology involved. In common with the best of the Haynes spacecraft manuals, it is liberally illustrated with colour photos and black-and-white line drawings, mainly from NASA and contractor documents. The engineering drawings that detail the overall telescope layout are particularly good and one feels they would benefit from much larger reproduction, possibly even a fold-out page or two.

The book is divided into nine sections covering everything from the historical background to the HST to (briefly) its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. Significant sections include those on the design and development of the Hubble and its scientific instrument payload and one on the “corrective optics” delivered to orbit after it was discovered that the telescope mirror suffered from spherical aberration. Hardcore Hubble fans will find the section on the servicing missions of particular interest as it covers replacement instruments and their support subsystems in detail.

The volume concludes with appendices on astrometry (the measurement side of astronomy) and “the physics of the telescope”, and a four-page abbreviations and index section which is useful for further research. Overall, a good technical companion to all those coffee-table books of Hubble images that publishers seem to love.

Mark Williamson, Space Technology Consultant

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