Origins Hubble a view to the edge of space  
people ideas tools place

To view the QuickTimeVR panorama below, you must have Apple QuickTime installed on your computer.

With your mouse anywhere within the picture below, click and drag to scan the panorama. With the cursor in the picture, hold the SHIFT key to zoom in, and the CONTROL key to zoom out.

Before objects are sent into space, they are prepared in this clean room, the largest clean room of its kind in the world. It's very important to make sure every item sent into space is clean. Dirt and dust can cause mechanisms to jam or malfunction. Oils and grease can outgas and cover optical surfaces, ruining experiments. Normal air has about 5,000,000 particles per cubic foot; this room has less than 10,000. The pink filters that keep the room clean take up one complete wall. That side of the room, nearest the filters is the "clean" side of the room. The other end (where the camera that took these pictures is located) is the "dirty" end of the room. You can see a full-scale model of the back end of the Hubble where astronauts and engineers practice installing experiments. For more info about the clean room, check out Goddard's clean room site.


© Exploratorium