"A Not So Routine Service Call"
Prints are signed by the artist and numbered|
16" x 11˝" Collector Sized Lithograph....$40
For thousands of years man has been fascinated by the heavens. Astronomy has evolved over the centuries, but all ground telescopes are handicapped because the Earth’s atmosphere distorts images and limits the ability to make observations. The Space Telescope was envisioned as an international effort to create a major breakthrough in astronomy. By place a huge telescope in Earth orbit, the limitations of ground-based observation would be overcome. Astronomers would be able to see objects 50 times fainter and 7 times farther away than before. The scope of the universe that could be seen would be 500 times greater than before. The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to do the job. It weighs 12.5 tons, is 43 feet long, and utilizes a huge 94.5 inch mirror. To get the Hubble into space one of NASA’s space orbiters or “shuttles,” as they have popularly became known, was utilized. The shuttle crew did a great job, but unfortunately the telescope was flawed and could not properly focus. Fortunately the Hubble was designed to be serviced by astronauts with many of its components designed as “orbital replacement units.” Features such as handrails and foot restraints were built into the Hubble to assist astronauts in executing repairs. A shuttle repair mission was organized to send astronauts into space to recapture the telescope and make necessary repairs. This mission was flawlessly excuted by Endeavour in 1993. NASA’s predecessor organization the NACA was organized in 1915 to focus on the science behind aircraft design. The NACA worked on airfoils, deicing, cowling design, etc. in its early years. During the Cold War the NACA flourished as it combined forces with many military programs like the X-1 and X-15. These programs moved the agency beyond its traditional research role and gave them design and program management responsibilities. When the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957, the NACA was changed forever. Renamed NASA, the agency’s budgets were greatly expanded and the new NASA was thrust into the spotlight as America’s answer to Soviet space might. NASA successfully managed the huge program to land men on the Moon. The post Apollo era was not necessarily clearly focused for NASA. While some believe the agency floundered after Apollo, NASA made important progress during this time in the areas of hypersonic flight, and their contributions resulted in jet engines with less noise, better economy reduced pollution, The shuttle program was started under the guidance of Dr. James C. Fletcher who was the administrator of NASA in the 1970s. The loss of the Challenger in 1986 was a setback for the agency, and Fletcher returned to his former position to refocus the agency, which according to its skeptics had become to large and bureaucratic. Although NASA has sometimes ventured far afield from its original mission, the science and dynamics of flight, whether for an aircraft or a spacecraft, remain the pervasive foundation of all that NASA does.
Stan Stokes Art is an independent gallery and is not affiliated with The Stokes Collection.
"Stan Stokes" used with permission.