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Hubbles to Hobnob at Cape Canaveral for Telescope Launch With PM-Space Shuttle

April 6, 1990

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) _ A horde of Hubbles, Hubbells and possibly even a couple of Hubbels will descend on Kennedy Space Center next week, drawn by the shuttle launch of a space telescope that’s named for one of their own.

They are all relatives of the late astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, whose discovery in the 1920s that the universe is expanding gave rise to the big- bang theory of creation.

The $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope, due to lift off Tuesday aboard Discovery, is a tribute and memorial to Hubble.

″Edwin’s being honored by NASA, and it gives us an excuse to get together and learn a little more about things and to pass the heritage on to the next generations,″ said Harvey Hubbell IV, 60, a distant relative and retired businessman from North Palm Beach who is organizing the affair.

Nearly 200 descendants of Richard Hubball, a 17th-century immigrant from England, are expected to begin to arrive this weekend. The Hubball name has changed over the generations.

It doesn’t matter whether someone is a cousin once, twice or even thrice removed from the astronomer; everyone is welcome, said Robert L. Hubbell, 71, president of the Hubbell Family Historical Society. The retired foreign service officer from Falls Church, Va., is bringing two grandchildren.

The family reunions, held every two years (this is an off year), have tended to attract only the older generations, Hubbell said, but ″this is catching the interest in the younger generation.″

Edwin Hubble, who died at age 63 in 1953, studied the stars and galaxies during the 1920s from Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, Calif. His survey revealed a much larger universe than anyone imagined.

He concluded galaxies were moving away from Earth at velocities proportional to their distances, supporting the concept that the universe originated 15 billion or so years ago in a cosmic explosion known as the big bang.

There were other noted family members.

Harvey Hubbell’s grandfather, Harvey Hubbell, invented the pull-chain electric socket and the conventional duplex wall socket. The factory he started in 1888 in Connecticut has grown into Hubbell Inc., a Fortune 500 company.

There was Carl Owen Hubbell, the Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the New York Giants from 1928 through 1943. John Lorenzo Hubbell established his first trading post on the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona in 1876.

The nearly 400 members of the Hubbell Family Historical Society aren’t the only ones with reason to be proud. Relatives from Edwin Hubble’s mother’s side also plan to attend the reunion and launch.

Lena James Jump, 75, a third cousin on his mother’s side, will be there with her three sisters.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration representatives will meet with the family Monday. The next morning, chartered buses will take the group to a special viewing area at Kennedy Space Center, provided the launch is on time.

A pool party is planned for Tuesday afternoon, followed by a tour of the space center on Wednesday and a luncheon at nearby Patrick Air Force Base on Thursday.

The astronomer’s closest living relatives - two sisters - aren’t coming.

Helen Hubble Lane, 91, and Betsy Hubble, 85, are in ill health and will be watching televised coverage from their homes in El Paso, Texas.

The astronomer’s wife, Grace, died in 1974, and the couple had no children. Three other sisters and two brothers are dead.

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