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Jun 2, 2009

Want to Build your own Hubble Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope has certainly been in the news this past week. Astronauts from Shuttle Atlantis stopped by for a billion dollars worth of refurbishing, hopefully succeeding in giving Hubble another decade of exquisite observation. Though in-orbit repairs were anticipated and designed into Hubble's physical structure this mission saw some work no one ever expected--and it looks like it worked!

It's an incredibly dangerous job which few Gearlog readers would turn down. Imagine a chance to do some fix-it work while traveling at 17,000+ mph at 350 miles above the Earth's surface. Wow!

Of course most of us will never get to Hubble, but you can build your own. There are instructions to roll-your-own at Hubblesite.org.

Make a scale model of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope using easy-to-find supplies and our printable materials.

These models aren't working telescopes - you can't peer at the sky with them. But they can give you an up-close look at the telescope's structure and a challenging project to engage your model-making skills.

Detailed instructions are available for models using PVC (low detail, average difficulty) and paper (two sets of plans including a highly detailed but very complex model). Though I am not personally licensed for powertools, a more coordinated builder should be able to take the detailed instructions and build a model of true beauty. It's the next best thing to being there.
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