Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did secret space telescope mirrors end up in Arizona observatory?

With the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission underway, there's an interesting story at the Space Review about the first planned space telescope. Mirrors from that 1960s venture may have ended up in the Multiple Mirror Telescope in Arizona.

In the days of the space race, when the US Air Force was working on its own manned space program in parallel with NASA's, the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory was going to carry a large multi-mirrored telescope into orbit.

For two decades after the program was cancelled, the UA's Multiple Mirror Telescope combined six smaller mirrors into one larger telescope. Did those mirrors come from the Air Force’s MOL program? The program was classified but the Space Review article makes a good case for this. [right, the MMTO]

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