Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention

MIT. Nov. 2019. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780262043182. $26.95. SCI
The Hubble Telescope was the first space-based optical telescope to capture images from the far reaches of the universe. Retired NASA astronaut Sullivan—the first American woman to do a spacewalk—details the ingenuity, hard work, and dedication she and other astronauts and engineers put into the launch, repair, and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope. She intersperses biographical highlights (PhD in geology, captain in the Navy reserve, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator) with her account of being selected to be a Shuttle astronaut specializing in Extravehicular Activity (EVA). She served on three missions, including the one that launched and deployed Hubble. She also assisted her crewmate Bruce McCandless in helping the engineers design and innovate tools that would be used to do EVA maintenance on Hubble, and, later, to repair the infamous, flawed mirror that prevented the telescope from producing the stunning images it does now.
VERDICT An accessible, engaging read for students of engineering and the history of technology and generalist readers interested in NASA history.

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