A personal token was sent to the space telescope to celebrate one astronomer’s contributions to its mission.
When astronaut John Grunsfeld was preparing to fly to the Hubble Space Telescope for its last ever servicing mission in 2009, he got in touch with astronomer Neta Bahcall.
Bahcall and her husband, John Bahcall, had been involved in the Hubble project since well before its launch. On multiple occasions, John Bahcall had saved the telescope from being canned by Congress. He was instrumental in setting up its final servicing mission, but had passed away in 2005, well before it took place.
Grunsfeld told Neta that he had been so inspired by John that he would like to take a token with him when he went to visit Hubble for the final time. She agreed, and sent their wedding rings for a tour around Earth.
Excerpted from the NaturePodcast. For more Hubble highlights, see Nature's coverage of Hubble's 25th anniversary.
Electronic supplementary material
The wedding rings that went to Hubble
Related links in Nature Research
Biography of a space telescope: Voices of Hubble 2015-Apr-15
Hubble telescope reveals deepest view of the Universe yet 2014-Jan-08
Hubble Space Telescope clocks up 20 years 2010-Apr-22
Nature special: Hubble's 25th anniversary
Related external links
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Smith, K. The wedding rings that went to Hubble. Nature (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2015.17333