This photograph shows the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) being assembled in the clean room of the Lockheed Missile Space Company. The Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) is being readied for the installation of the AFT shroud. The OTA contains two mirrors, a primary and a secondary, to collect and focus light from selected celestial objects.
Hubble is the first of NASA's great observatories and the most complex and sensitive optical telescope ever made. The purpose of Hubble is to study the cosmos from a low Earth orbit by placing the telescope in space, enabling astronomers to collect data that is free of Earth's atmosphere. Hubble was deployed from the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31 mission) into Earth orbit in April 1990.
The Marshall Space Flight Center had overall responsibility for design, development, and construction of the observatory. The Perkin-Elmer Corporation in Danbury, Connecticut, developed the optical system and guidance sensors. The Lockheed Missile and Space Company, Sunnyvale, California, produced the protective outer shroud and spacecraft systems, and assembled and tested the finished telescope.