Chris Gainor

Hubble historian speaks to Nanaimo Astronomy Society

Author Chris Gainor to speak at astronomy society November meeting on Thursday (Nov. 24).

A man contracted by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to write the history of the Hubble Space Telescope is the guest speaker for this week’s meeting of the Nanaimo Astronomy Society.

Chris Gainor, historian and author specializing in technology, space exploration and areonautics, will be talking about the orbiting telescope’s history, technological development and its contributions to modern astronomy and to modern space exploration.

Gainor, who lives in Victoria, is editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. He is also first vice-president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Gainor is on a three-year contract with NASA to write the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, which went into operation in 1990.

“It’s been operating for 26 years in space and there’s been a few ups and downs, so to speak,” Gainor said, pointing out that the a major error in the instrument’s mirror was discovered after it was launched and it had to be retrofitted in orbit.

The defect turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Extra-vehicular missions to repair and service the instrument over the years have helped astronauts develop the art, science and technology of working in space.

“A lot of the lessons that they learned from servicing Hubble have been applied to servicing the International Space Station,” Gainor said.

The telescope has been upgraded over the years to increase its capabilities and today is a much more powerful device than when it was launched. One of its chief accomplishments has been to help determine the size and age of the universe.

The Hubble will likely remain in operation some years to come, likely into the 2030s. Its orbit will ultimately decay to the point where it brushes the upper atmosphere. A mount has been attached to the telescope’s frame to accept a de-orbiting module that will allow a controlled re-entry over an ocean.

The Hubble’s replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be launched in 2018.

“It’s going to be far bigger than the Hubble, although it’s going to be operating mainly in the infra-red part of the spectrum because that lets you look further back in history,” Gainor said.

The Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s November meeting happens Thursday (Nov. 24) at Beban Park social centre from 7-9:15 p.m.

Admission is free for society members and first-time meeting attendees.

For more information, please visit the society website at www.nanaimoastronomy.com.

A man contracted by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to write the history of the Hubble Space Telescope is the guest speaker for this week’s meeting of the Nanaimo Astronomy Society.

Chris Gainor, historian and author specializing in technology, space exploration and areonautics, will be talking about the orbiting telescope’s history, technological development and its contributions to modern astronomy and to modern space exploration.

Gainor, who lives in Victoria, is editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. He is also first vice-president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Gainor is on a three-year contract with NASA to write the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, which went into operation in 1990.

“It’s been operating for 26 years in space and there’s been a few ups and downs, so to speak,” Gainor said, pointing out that the a major error in the instrument’s mirror was discovered after it was launched and it had to be retrofitted in orbit.

The defect turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Extra-vehicular missions to repair and service the instrument over the years have helped astronauts develop the art, science and technology of working in space.

“A lot of the lessons that they learned from servicing Hubble have been applied to servicing the International Space Station,” Gainor said.

The telescope has been upgraded over the years to increase its capabilities and today is a much more powerful device than when it was launched. One of its chief accomplishments has been to help determine the size and age of the universe.

The Hubble will likely remain in operation some years to come, likely into the 2030s. Its orbit will ultimately decay to the point where it brushes the upper atmosphere. A mount has been attached to the telescope’s frame to accept a de-orbiting module that will allow a controlled re-entry over an ocean.

The Hubble’s replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be launched in 2018.

“It’s going to be far bigger than the Hubble, although it’s going to be operating mainly in the infra-red part of the spectrum because that lets you look further back in history,” Gainor said.

The Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s November meeting happens Thursday (Nov. 24) at Beban Park social centre from 7-9:15 p.m.

Admission is free for society members and first-time meeting attendees.

For more information, please visit the society website at www.nanaimoastronomy.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Learning outside the classroom suits VIU’s carpentry program just fine

Vancouver Island University has partnered with KSG Consulting Ltd. to provide hands-on learning

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

Crash causes injuries, traffic tie-ups in downtown Nanaimo

Accident happened Friday at 12:15 p.m. at Terminal Avenue and Comox Road

Gabriola skatepark project gets $567,000 infrastructure grant

Federal and provincial governments providing money for Huxley Park amenities

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read