Science and Exploration

Hubble at 25: The Documentary, Memories and Social

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 25, 2015
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Hubble at 25: The Documentary, Memories and Social
Illustration: The Hubble Space Telescope and Space Shuttle.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary take a stroll down memory lane and learn how the Hubble Space Telescope became so instrumental to our knowledge of the universe.
Hubble Space Telescope-25th Anniversary Resource Reel

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off on space shuttle mission STS-31, with the Hubble Space Telescope in its payload bay. The following day, Hubble was released into space, ready to peer into the vast unknown. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the observatory’s primary mirror had a flaw that affected the clarity of the telescope’s early images. Over the next three years corrective optics were developed for the telescope and in December 1993, astronauts repaired Hubble’s “vision” during space shuttle mission STS-61, the first of NASA’s five servicing missions to the orbiting observatory. Subsequent repairs and upgrades were also made on servicing missions in February 1997 (STS-82); December 1999 (STS-103); March 2002 (STS-109); and May 2009 (STS-125).

The Hubble Space Telescope has provided scientists and the public with spectacular images of deep space. One of the most technologically advanced pieces of equipment that humans have put into orbit, it has helped researchers make important discoveries about our universe, ranging from planets and stars to galaxies and cosmology, in the process reinvigorating and reshaping our perception of the cosmos and giving astronomers insight into the history and fate of our universe.

NASA | Hubble Memorable Moments: Powering Down

In this first video of NASA’s Hubble Memorable Moments series celebrating Hubble’s 25 years, the telescope must be completely powered off to replace Hubble’s heart.

NASA’s Documentary Film: Hubble25

In its quarter-century in orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope has transformed the way we understand the Universe, helped us find our place among the stars, and paved the way to incredible advancements in science and technology. The Hubble story is a human story. Hubble overcame much adversity early on in its mission and demonstrated the great heights NASA is capable of achieving against all odds. Much of that is thanks to the “Hubble Heroes”, including scientists, engineers, and the brave astronauts who flew five Space Shuttle missions to service Hubble.

Hubble 25th Anniversary: NASA Social at Goddard

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 24, 2015. To mark the occasion, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland — home of Hubble operations — hosted a NASA Social on April 23.

Among the day’s activities was a visit to Goddard’s Space Telescope Operations Control Center (the STOCC) and a hands-on demonstration of astronaut tools used to service Hubble in-orbit.

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