Hubble Space Telescope control console on eBay


Hubbbbb Want to build a DIY version of the Hubble Space Telescope? I posted last year that the Vehicle Power Interface Console used at the Goddard Flight Center during pre-launch testing of the HST was for sale on eBay for $75,000. Well, now the seller has significantly sweetened the deal by throwing in this stately and elegant two-person HST control console presumably also used during pre-launch testing. "NASA ARTIFACT VPI Vehicle Power Interface Rack & Console Hubble Space Telescope"


    1. Seriously, this should be on display at the Smithsonian along with an exhibit of some of Hubble’s greatest images (blown WAY up of course!). It’s probablly the single-most important tool in the 20th century for expanding humanity’s view of the greater cosmos.

  1. Dunno whether this particular item belongs in the Smithsonian — I suspect they have already selected better Hubble artifacts, which is why this one fell onto the surplus market and is now being offered on eBay.

    I don’t feel a great need to own anything that large purely as a collector’s item.

    I covet the console, but realistically I’d rather build a mockup that actually Did Something.

    1. I was fortunate enough to attend the Hubble team shindig at the Smithsonian after the completion of the 3rd service mission.  They’ve got a replica HST on display, and I believe they’ve been replacing it piece by piece with actual Hubble parts retrieved from orbit during the service missions.  The shuttle brings stuff (like gyros etc) back, NASA’s subcontractors analyze the wear etc,, and then they give the stuff to the Air and Space Museum.

      So, yeah, this is not Smithsonian grade material.  They’ve got more important stuff already that they haven’t room to display.

  2. Back when I was an active ham radio operator, I was the  guy who always came back from swapmeets with “boat anchors:” large, old, maybe-functional pieces of electronic equipment. My best score was a rack mounted oscilloscope with eight separate oscilloscope modules, seven of which still worked, $15. I’ve still got a 1947 Philco S8200 scope, shiny as the day it was made, tuned up and functional.

    This, though…this makes me homerdrool. By god I will do something with this.* Maybe turn my front room into a Miscellaneous 1980s Science Fiction Movie-themed room.

    *This is the standard rationalization for all boat anchor purchases.

    1. I knew someone that did the same thing with hulking ww2 era analytical instruments, like spectrophotomers.  Apparently it’s pretty easy to collect the analog data in digital form.

    1.  Not in this time period.  But I can remember taking apart similar terminals in the 80s and finding cigarette-length cylinders of ash lying inside, where an unfiltered pall mall or two had fallen in the cooling vents and smoldered away to ash, unremarked, inside the case.

  3. Hey, Pesco, I contacted a Hubble driver I know & he said:

    My best ‘guestimate’ would be that this is simulator equipment used for ground modeling/testing possibly prior to HST assembly. Given HST was built, tested and qualified for flight 5+ years prior to its 1990 launch (delayed due to Challenger), it shouldn’t be surprising that this type of equipment would be even older.

    Note that this assessment ties in rather well with the actual eBay blurb, only with less breathless hyperbole.

Comments are closed.