Astronaut Jeff Hoffman Speaks About Hubble Telescope at SSP 2015

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Thursday night, in Ohio University’s Baker Auditorium, the Space Studies Program hosted one of the most influential Astronauts of the Apollo generation.

Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman is a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. However, he’s probably best known as the first astronaut to work on the Hubble Space Telescope as it orbited the Earth in 1993.

At the lecture he spoke about the science behind the space telescope, including a detailed account of the space mission to repair Hubble.

“How did we fix the Hubble Telescope?” Hoffman said. “Well, before I talk about how we fixed it I think its a reasonable question to ask ‘Why in the world do we want to put a big telescope into space in the first place?”

Today, Hoffman’s main responsibilities pertain to the prepation of the next generation of space scientists and explorers.

Hoffman says he lived through an age where space exploration was pushed by political needs in the Cold War.

Today, he’s unsure about the future of space travel, especially how it will be funded.

“Apollo was a very unique time,” Hoffman said. “We’re gonna have to figure out how to explore if we’re going to do it at all, because, at its peak, the budget for Apollo program and NASA was about 4 percent of the federal budget for a couple years. Its now down to about four-tenths of a percent.”

The successor the Hubble telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope was first set to launch in 2011, now it’s been pushed to 2018.

Despite this and other set backs, Hoffman remains hopeful for the future of space flight.

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  1. Astronaut Jeff Hoffman Speaks About Hubble Telescapoe at SSP 2015 Ben Postlethwait 1:24