CHARLOTTE, NC /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Observations captured using Goodrich Corporation's Fine Guidance Sensors onboard the Hubble Space Telescope were used to compute the true mass of a planet orbiting a solar system located about 63 trillion miles from our sun. Goodrich's Fine Guidance Sensor-enabled observations show that the planet's orbit is in the same plane as the dust and gas disk that also orbits the star, Epsilon Eridani. This result provides evidence to support the theory that planets originate from the disks of gas and dust that surround stars.
Goodrich's Electro-Optical Systems team, headquartered in Danbury, CT, was responsible for the design, fabrication, and verification of the Hubble's original flight Fine Guidance Sensors and a spare. In addition, Goodrich has upgraded and refurbished three units, two of which are currently operating on the Hubble Space Telescope. The third refurbished and upgraded unit will be installed during Servicing Mission 4 in 2007-2008.
Goodrich has a long history in the design and fabrication of highly complex telescopes and optical systems, such as the Hubble's Optical Telescope Assembly and Fine Guidance Sensors, as well as the Chandra x-ray observatory optics and the primary mirror and tower for the Spitzer Space Telescope. These telescopes comprise three of the four NASA Great Observatories.
High-resolution images of Goodrich's upgraded Fine Guidance Sensors being installed on the Hubble Space Telescope during Servicing Mission 2 are available on the Web, simply search using the key words "Fine Guidance Sensors and Hubble."
Goodrich Corp., a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense, and homeland security markets. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information visit the company's Web site.