Introduction to Hubble
Three different views of the Hubble in space

The Hubble takes amazing images as well as looking beautiful itself. Image Credit: NASA

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.

Featured resources
  • 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

Photo of Edwin Hubble on the left with Hubble milestone dates on the right

In 1924, American astronomer Edwin Hubble used the 100-inch Hooker Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

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

Graphic that has the word "Sight" in brown letters on a white background, and the word "Insight" in white letters on a brown background

In this case study, students analyze and evaluate the ideas, history and innovations discussed in Hubble-related USA TODAY articles. Image Credit: USA Today

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

The words Amazing Space and a small image of the Hubble

Amazing Space uses the Hubble Space Telescope's discoveries to inspire and educate about the wonders of the universe. Image Credit: STScI

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

A view of the top side of Hubble high above Earth, with a bank of clouds obscuring Earth's surface

This lithograph shows an image of Hubble taken from the orbiting space shuttle. Image Credit: NASA

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

Image of Hubble floating against the blackness of space

The Hubble Space Telescope will soon get a visit from the STS-125 space shuttle crew. Image Credit: NASA

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

Astronauts working on HST during Servicing Mission 3A in 1999

An astronaut works on Hubble during Servicing Mission 3A in 1999. Image Credit: NASA

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

Several words and acronyms in different colors and fonts

The Hubble Project is full of interesting terms and acronyms. Image Credit: NASA

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

Image of a small astronaut floating on a tether near the Hubble

Teach students critical skills with this interactive activity based on Servicing Mission 3B. Image Credit: NASA

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™

NASA eClips™logo

The NASA eClips™: Innovative Real World Learning videos offer useful, up-to-date information for the classroom. Image Credit: NASA

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


Related Resource Sites

>  Return to The Hubble Space Telescope Inspires Wonder Education Resource Page