Optics for space missions and space telescopes

Mike Sholl
UCB, Space Sciences Lab


Operation of telescopes beyond Earth's atmosphere offers numerous advantages over ground-based observatories.  Although overlap exists between the challenges of a terrestrial and those of a space-based observatory, launch and orbital environments, as well as the typical requirement of diffraction-limited imaging dominate the design, fabrication and testing of the telescope.  The extreme expense of servicing missions precludes their general use on the majority of space telescope missions, and necessitates extensive pre-launch optical and environmental testing.  This talk presents an overview of the processes involved with developing and operating a space telescope.