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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Astrophysics Science Division | Sciences and Exploration

This website is kept for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.


Named after the trailblazing astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953), the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a large, space-based observatory which has revolutionized astronomy by providing unprecedented deep and clear views of the Universe, ranging from our own solar system to extremely remote fledgling galaxies forming not long after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

Mission Accomplished: Leaving Hubble Better Than Ever (05.29.2009)Take one space shuttle, seven highly trained astronauts, tons of equipment, and one legendary orbiting telescope and you have the 5.3 million-mile odyssey that was Hubble's final servicing mission (SM4).
Launched in 1990 and greatly extended in its scientific powers through new instrumentation installed during four servicing missions with the Space Shuttle, the Hubble, in its eighteen years of operations, has validated Lyman Spitzer Jr.'s (1914-1997) original concept of a diversely instrumented observatory orbiting far above the distorting effects of the Earth's atmosphere and returning data of unique scientific value.

Hubble's coverage of light of different colors (its "spectral range") extends from the ultraviolet, through the visible (to which our eyes are sensitive), and into the near-infrared. Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 meters (94.5 inches) in diameter. Hubble is not large by ground-based standards but it performs heroically in space. Hubble orbits Earth every 96 minutes, 575 kilometers (360 miles) above the Earth's surface.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD performs the daily orbital operations, servicing mission development, and overall management of the Hubble Program. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD develops and executes Hubble's scientific program and is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under contract to NASA.

Hubble Program News

NASA Releases Images from Refurbished Hubble (09.09.2009)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business after astronauts refurbished it in May. These first snapshots from Hubble showcase the 19-year-old telescope's new vision.
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+View Images

SMOV Update (08.18.2009)
Hubble is getting closer to completing the calibrations for most of its instruments, and each day it draws nearer to becoming a fully functioning observatory again. In fact, in the upcoming weeks, Hubble will concentrate on making high-priority science observations and then finish the remaining instrument calibrations by early fall.
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SMOV Update (08.07.2009)
As the first week of August comes to a close, most of Hubble�s science instruments have already completed or are close to completing their calibration activities. Each instrument has multiple channels that detect different wavelengths of light, and each channel must be tested and calibrated individually. While some instrument channels are still under evaluation, several others are already at work studying the universe.
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+ View Hubble Program News Archive

related  content websites

+ Servicing Mission 4
+ Hubblesite (STScI)
+ Hubble Source (STScI)
+ ESA Hubble