Mission News

Hubble 3D Blasts Off Again
Director/Producer of Hubble 3D Toni Myers and STS-125 astronaut Mike MassiminoDirector and producer of Hubble 3D Toni Myers and STS-125 astronaut Mike Massimino don 3D glasses at the Los Angeles premiere. Credit: IMAX
The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. There is no known star-forming region in our galaxy as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus. Credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Paresce (INAF-IASF, Bologna, Italy), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the Wide Field Camera 3 Science Oversight CommitteeThis portrait is the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. Credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Paresce (INAF-IASF, Bologna, Italy), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the Wide Field Camera 3 Science Oversight Committee.
M51 The 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog is perhaps the original spiral nebula--a large galaxy with a well defined spiral structure also cataloged as NGC 5194. Image credit: NASA, Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI).
Hubble 3D will open in additional IMAX theaters on Aug. 20, and will play for a special limited time engagement. The film, which debuted on March 19, initially launched in 55 domestic and 15 international IMAX locations to rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.

Narrated by award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the film documents the STS-125 shuttle mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. The film is a joint venture between NASA, the IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures.

"Thanks to our wonderful partners at Warner Bros. and NASA, Hubble 3D offered us the opportunity to take audiences on an astounding, immersive journey -- from the thundering launch into space to witness first-hand the astronauts' mastery at performing 'brain surgery' on Hubble, all the way to the outer edges of our universe in groundbreaking flythroughs," said producer/director Toni Myers. "We are gratified that the film was so well received during its initial launch, and we are very excited that more people will have the opportunity to learn about Hubble’s amazing discoveries."

The IMAX 3-D cameras launched aboard space shuttle Atlantis on May 11, 2009, during the STS-125 mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronauts documented the mission's five spacewalks to repair and upgrade Hubble and the IMAX footage was combined with breathtaking detailed images of distant galaxies from Hubble.

Atlantis' crew--Commander Scott Altman, pilot Gregory C. Johnson and Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Megan McArthur--were the fifth shuttle crew to fly to the telescope. Their predecessors have replaced and repaired failed and faulty components and added new and improved cameras and scientific equipment, and the STS-125 crew will be no different.

The IMAX team trained Atlantis' crew at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to operate the cameras. One was mounted outside the crew cabin in the shuttle's cargo bay to capture IMAX 3-D images of the historic final servicing mission. The commander and pilot will double as filmmakers as two teams of spacewalking astronauts -- working in tandem with the shuttle's robotic arm -- perform some of the most challenging work ever undertaken in space as they replace and refurbish many of the telescope's precision instruments.

"This is star travel," said Myers. "You"re right out there, moving in space. The Hubble Telescope has amassed a monumental amount of data from the distant reaches of the cosmos, the birth of solar systems and ultra deep field galaxies beyond our own. That data has been turned into three-dimensional flights to transport audiences to the edge of the observable universe in a way most people have never even imagined."

Through the world's most immersive cinematic experience, Hubble 3D will give audiences a front row seat as the story unfolds. It will reveal the cosmos as never before, allowing viewers of all ages to explore the grandeur of the nebulae and galaxies, the birth and death of stars, and some of the greatest mysteries of our celestial surroundings, all in IMAX 3-D.

IMAX's longstanding partnership with NASA has enabled millions of people to travel into space through a series of award-winning IMAX films. The IMAX 3-D camera made its first voyage into space in 2001 for the production of Space Station 3D.

For more information on the movie, as well as videos, educational materials, downloads and additional Webisodes, visit http://www.imax.com/hubble/.

View the IMAX Webisode 1 below.