Launched in April 1990 and with almost 20 years of historic and trailblazing science already accomplished,
the Hubble Space Telescope was reborn with Servicing Mission 4 (SM4).
The fifth and final servicing of the orbiting observatory, flew aboard
Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-125) from May 11 – May 24, 2009.
two new scientific instruments were installed – the Cosmic Origins
Spectrograph (COS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Two failed
instruments, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and the
Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), were brought back to life by the
first ever on-orbit repairs. With these efforts, Hubble has been brought
to the apex of its scientific capabilities.
To prolong Hubble's life, new batteries, new gyroscopes, a new science
computer, a refurbished fine guidance sensor and new insulation on three
electronics bays were also installed over the 12-day mission with five
spacewalks. Additionally, a device was attached to the base of the
telescope to facilitate de-orbiting when the telescope is eventually
The SM4 improvements should insure the telescope's continued success
through the year 2014 and hopefully allow for
some overlap of scientific operations with Hubble's imminent successor,
the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled for launch in 2014.
+ Read a summary account of the mission
+ Read details of mission objectives
+ Read More about SM4 Space Shuttle operations
+ Read a History of the Hubble Space Telescope