You might know the name "Hubble" because of the Hubble Space Telescope. But this phenomenal observatory was named after one of the most influential astronomers in modern history. Hubble discovered that galaxies are speeding away from us in all directions, leading to our current understanding of an expanding Universe. Let’s learn about the man behind the telescope.
NASA or What? — “Making space for everyone” could be NASA’s motto. But as commercial spaceships get ready to blast off, that populist idea is being tested. Space cowboys in the private sector say they’re the ones who can provide unfettered access to space, for tourists and scientists alike. Meet a scientist who already has a ticket to ride on SpaceShip Two and discover what he hopes to learn about asteroids during his five minutes of weightlessness. Plus, NASA in motion: it’s back to the moon as the GRAIL mission probes the interior of our lovely lunar satellite. Also, can you dig it? The rover Curiosity can. It’s headed to Mars to hunt for clues to alien life … with a jackhammer.
Also, as the Hubble Space Telescope shuts down, the James Webb Space Telescope revs up. Or does it? The telescope is designed to study the birth of galaxies and hunt for evidence of water on far away worlds. But will Congress pull the plug?
The best known telescope out of this world celebrates its 20th anniversary of amazing discoveries.
Guests: Frank Summers, astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute
Our lives are ruled by calendars. And calendars are ruled by astronomy. As we near the end of 2011, and get ready to ring in the new year, let’s discover the astronomy underlying the days, weeks, months and years that segment our lives.