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The Impact of HST on European Astronomy

The Impact of HST on European Astronomy by F. Duccio Macchetto
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Remembrance of Things Past It scarcely seems credible that it was almost exactly thirty years ago that I ?rst met Duccio Macchetto at the ?rst meeting of the newly formed Science Working Group of what was then called the Space Telescope project. We were there in slightly d- ferent roles, Duccio as the project scientist for the Faint Object Camera and I as an interdisciplinary scientist. Henk van de Hulst was also there as the of?cial rep- sentative of ESO. The approval of the project was the end result of a great deal of lobbying and politicking both in the USA and Europe, the European contribution proving essential to the approval process in the USA. Those interested in the nit- gritty of the process should read Robert Smith’s outstanding history of the Hubble Space Telescope. We should have realized early on that we were in for a rough time. At that ?rst meeting of the Science Working Group I remember vividly NASA Headquarters telling us that the Space Telescope was a success-oriented programme that would cost M$ 680. Well, we could live with the cost-tag, but we should have had concerns about the expression “success-oriented”. This meant that everything should turn out exactly as planned, the project would be carried out within the projected time-scale and budget and the telescope would be launched in 1983. Well, the rest is history. We learned a lot of useful jargon along the way.
Springer Netherlands; January 2010
307 pages; ISBN 9789048134007
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Title: The Impact of HST on European Astronomy
Author: F. Duccio Macchetto
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