The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in April 1990, is poised for many more years of trailblazing science ranging from Earth's solar system to the edge of the observable universe. The telescope is fulfilling the hopes astronomers have long held. They have wanted a large, optically superb telescope orbiting above Earth's distorting atmosphere and providing uniquely clear and deep views of the cosmos. Hubble was the first telescope designed to be serviced in space. Astronauts have visited it four times, with another mission planned for May 2009.
- Hubble Space Telescope's history, milestones and general information
- Hubble Servicing Mission 4 (SM4/STS-125)
- Multimedia clips and a simulation activity
Hubble History and Milestones
Since the dawn of civilization, man's understanding of the universe was limited by his vision and imagination. The telescope enhanced his vision and tempered his pride, as observations by Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler in the 16th and 17th centuries A.D. rebuffed the millennia-old conceit that Earth is the center of the universe, thus spearheading the Scientific Revolution.
By the 18th century, the telescope would become the indispensable instrument for investigations of the cosmos. By the beginning of the 20th century, most astronomers believed that the observable universe consisted of one galaxy, the Milky Way, an oasis of stars, dust and gas in the vastness of space.
Read about how the Hubble progressed from a dream to a reality and the milestones reached along the way.
› Learn the Hubble Story
› View the Hubble Milestones
Collegiate Case Study: The Hubble Legacy
USA Today, in cooperation with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. presents this six-part case study, which explores the human ingenuity, visions and expertise representing the still-evolving story of the Hubble Space Telescope. This collegiate case study focuses on the Hubble legacy and how human ingenuity and a "failure is not an option" attitude have contributed to the improvement and maintenance of the HST.
› View the Case Study site →
Hubble Facts & Trivia
Learn fun facts, commonly asked questions and myths that exist about Hubble by visiting the Amazing Space Web site.
› Learn Fun Facts →
› Read Commonly Asked Questions →
› Read the Myths vs. Realities →
› Test Your Knowledge →
Hubble Space Telescope Lithograph
An image of Hubble taken from the orbiting Space Shuttle shows the telescope after new solar panels were installed during the first servicing mission in 1993. Text is included that describes how the telescope works. A diagram identifies the telescope's science instruments and other important parts.
› View site →
Servicing Hubble Feature Story
The next servicing mission, Servicing Mission 4 (SM4), in May 2009, will be the final trip to the Hubble Telescope. Over the course of five spacewalks, astronauts will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones, and perform the component replacements that will keep the telescope functioning at least into 2014. The effort-intensive, rigorously researched, exhaustively tested mission also involves diverse groups of people on the ground throughout the country.
› Read about Servicing Mission 4
Star Witness News Special Feature: Preparing for Hubble's Servicing Mission 4
Hubble was the first space telescope designed to be serviced in space. Scientists believed that periodic servicing missions would extend Hubble's operating life and keep the observatory up-to-date. Astronauts have already visited Hubble four times, and another visit is scheduled for May 2009. The visit, called Servicing Mission 4, will increase the telescope's scientific power and keep it operational until at least 2014.
› Read Feature Story in the Star Witness News →
Mission to Hubble Glossary
The Hubble Space Telescope, its instruments and its servicing missions seem to have their own language. The glossary defines many of the terms and acronyms related to Servicing Mission 4.
› View Glossary →
Be the Mastermind Behind the Mission Activity
Students use critical thinking and reading skills by searching for word and picture clues from the events of the 2002 Servicing Mission 3B, including the shuttle launch and spacewalks to place mission events in the correct sequence.
› View site →
NASA eClips are videos highlighting current research and innovations along with lesson plans that can be used in the classroom.
The links below point to a page that lists several eClips. Please scroll through the list below the large video by using the scroll bar to the far right to find the titles as listed below:
› How the Hubble Space Telescope Is Powered in Space →
› Hubble Repair Mission →
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