I know that the Hubble telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, due to his astronomical discoveries of astronomy, but who designed it? Which people were most directly responsible for the inspiring and planning the HST project.

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you think the Hubble telescope had been invented? Read this before you ask here. $\endgroup$
    – Walter
    May 27, 2017 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ You might benefit from finding out what the (not "a") Hubble Telescope is! $\endgroup$ May 27, 2017 at 10:43
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    $\begingroup$ Short answer: A committee. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2017 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with the close votes on this one. For a non-astronomer it seems to be a completely reasonable assumption that one single person might have 'invented' that telescope. People in general don't know that science is working way far from Hollywood's 'single genius' trope, but that's what this site is partially there for. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2017 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ Designed is a better term than invented here. It's not as if Hubble were the first telescope ever, or even the first space telescope. That likely goes back at least to 1959: universetoday.com/105326/… $\endgroup$ May 27, 2017 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


There was no single designer of the Hubble telescope. It was designed and build by NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA).

The advantages of a telescope in space have been clear for over 100 years. These ideas were crystallized in Lyman Spitzer's 1946 paper. Spitzer continued to push for a telescope through the '50s and '60s.

When Congress eventually funded the telescope in '78, the task of design was given to the Marshal Space Flight Center. The head of the space telescope project was Dr. Bob O'Dell, chair of the Astronomy dept. at the University of Chicago. In a video from NASA, Dr O'Dell talks about the early years of HST development.

Over the years others have worked as Project Manager. There never was a single "inventor". Hundreds of scientists have been involved in its design and planning. Something as complex as the HST could never be designed by a solo inventor.

  • $\begingroup$ I expect the CIA or NSA had their hand in it as well, since they run similar sized scopes, pointed at earth. $\endgroup$ Jan 7, 2019 at 16:17

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