HST and Beyond: A study conducted in 1994 - 1995 on behalf of NASA to recommend missions and programs for optical and ultraviolet space astronomy in the 21st century.
The committee determined that to best follow up the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, a very large infrared telescope was needed. We knew two things that would be challenging about this plan. One is that the Hubble is warm and glows at infrared wavelengths, so it is limited in terms of doing infrared astronomy. Second, the discoveries Hubble made hinted that there were things to be discovered just past where the telescope could see, at longer wavelengths. We would need a cool telescope that was optimized specifically for infrared experiments.
The limitations of our telescope technologies and the scientific motivation to pursue questions of the early Universe led the committee to a decision. In a beautifully written report called “HST and Beyond”, the committee recommended that a major infrared astronomy mission should follow up the Hubble Space Telescope. People at NASA headquarters agreed, and when the NASA administrator reported the plan to the members of the American Astronomical Society, he got a standing ovation.