Example #1—a generic research
REPAIR OF THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
I. Description of Original lens defect
II. Possible solutions
A. A new telescope
B. Computer enhancement
A corrective lens
III. Method of repair
A. Description of the corrective lens
B. Installation of the corrective lens
Several years ago, the Hubble Space
Telescope was launched from a space shuttle flight. Astronomers had hoped that with the
Hubble Space Telescope orbiting high above Earth's cloudy atmosphere,
several questions about how the universe works and was formed could be
answered. Unfortunately, after the telescope
was in orbit, technicians discovered that the telescope lens had a flaw
that made the pictures it sent to earth fuzzy. This was a major disappointment to those
hoping to peer deeper into space.
Fortunately, in December 1993, astronauts aboard another space
shuttle mission were able to install a lens that corrected the problem.
For several months after first
discovering the problem, scientists considered three possible
solutions. One was to build and
launch a new telescope. This would
cost millions of dollars and delay any deep space study for several
years. Another solution was to build
a super computer that could clear up the pictures the current Hubble sent
to Earth. However, even a super
computer would have to "guess" several parts of an enhanced
picture because of the flaw in the original lens. A third solution was to build and install
a corrective "contact lens" for the Hubble, much as doctors make
for humans with vision problems.
Scientists decided to build and
install a corrective lens, with construction beginning in June of
1992. The lens was designed to bring
into focus the flawed part of the original telescope lens. The plan called for astronauts on a space
shuttle mission to install the corrective lens and make fine adjustments. If this worked, the original Hubble Space
Telescope would be saved along with millions of dollars and several years
In December 1993, a space shuttle
mission was launched with the corrective lens on board. No one including the most informed
mission specialist or astronaut knew what to expect since an installation
and repair of this magnitude hundreds of miles above earth had never been
attempted. However, after many hours
of aggravating effort astronauts finally succeeded in putting the
corrective lens in place.
A few stressful weeks of
"tuning" the lens followed.
Scientists now report that the Hubble's vision is perfect. The corrective lens installed by the
astronauts exceeds all expectations in repairing the flaw. Because of the success of the repair
effort, big questions such as how our universe began and its eventual fate
may be answered.
Baker, Elaine. Black Holes and Hubble. New York: Roundhill Press, 2006.
The Edison Page.
Web. 5 May 2002.
"The Hubble Finally Works.” The Spokesman Review 17 Jan. 2000:
Jacobs, Alice L. and Marilyn Moore. "Correcting the
Hubble's Sight." Scientific
Adventures Nov. 2004:
Landis, Carl. Personal interview. 12 Oct. 2007
Nova. PBS Television. 15 Jan. 2005.
Orion Web Reference. Orion Space Imaging. 5 Feb.
2001. Web. 16 Oct. 2007.