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Proceedings Paper

Fifteen years of observing from low Earth orbit
Author(s): Rodger E. Doxsey
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Paper Abstract

Hubble Space Telescope has been operating from low Earth orbit for 15 years. In the case of HST, the orbit was determined by launch and servicing considerations, not observing efficiency. Higher orbits have been chosen for recent missions, for various reasons. This paper will discuss the evolution of HST operations in low Earth orbit, comparing the results with early expectations, identifying the changes and improvements made, and identifying the most serious constraints to observing efficiency found in practice. We will generalize this experience to possible future use of low Earth orbit as an observing site, identifying mission design parameters that could improve efficiency, or otherwise make low Earth orbit more attractive as an observing site.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 627006 (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672047
Show Author Affiliations
Rodger E. Doxsey, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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