Howard Dicuss: The year began so brightly for NASA.
NASA Station: 5,4,3,2,1 and lift off of the Space Shuttle Discovery with the Hubble Space Telescope.
Howard Dicus: 13 years in the making of the Hubble Space Telescope was supposed to see what no telescope had seen before. NASA's Space Science boss Leonard Fisk could barely restrain himself.
Leonard Fisk: “The astronomers were starting to tingle again.”
Howard Dicus: Rob Navias was at the Cape when Discovery took Hubble aloft.
Rob Navias: “Discovery starting it's world program to flip over on to it's back. Almost $3 billion of space hardware shrieking uphill.”
Howard Dicus: It was all downhill from there. Someone had used a measuring instrument upside down. The Hubble was built with a wrought mirror. It took good pictures, but not as good as built and the whole year went like that. NASA was grounded half the year with hydrogen fuel leaks. When that was fixed, a second astronomy mission was constrained by computer failures.