Hubble’s vision problem

Hubble Space TelescopeThe earliest test images from the Hubble Space Telescope alert ground-based astronomers to a serious problem: the telescope’s huge mirror has been ground to an incorrect shape, leaving the $2,000,000,000 telescope with a vision problem resulting in blurry pictures. Though they’re still an improvement over ground-based telescopes, the telescope’s main selling point – high-resolution images of distant objects – is moot. With the public considering the expensive satellite a failure (oblivious to the fact that it can be serviced via Space Shuttle), NASA begins an extensive investigation into the problem, arriving at a possible repair that can’t be applied until the first shuttle servicing mission to Hubble in 1993. In the meantime, attempts to correct the problem with Earthbound computer image processing yield some usable images.