Hubble's Exceptional Longevity
Launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has surpassed its expected 15-year lifespan. Now operational for over three decades, Hubble continues to provide invaluable data, thanks to five successful service missions by astronauts.
Hubble's Groundbreaking Discoveries
Hubble has revolutionized our understanding of the universe, confirming the existence of supermassive black holes and helping to refine the Hubble constant, which measures the universe's expansion rate.
Hubble's Mirror Flaw
Post-launch, a flaw in Hubble's primary mirror was discovered, causing blurred images. The 1993 servicing mission installed corrective optics, akin to eyeglasses, which restored the telescope's planned capabilities.
Shuttle's Diverse Missions
Space Shuttles have embarked on diverse missions beyond launching telescopes, including satellite deployment, International Space Station construction, and the first American woman's spacewalk during Challenger's STS-41-G mission in 1984.
Galileo Probes Jupiter
In 1989, the Shuttle Atlantis launched the Galileo spacecraft towards Jupiter. Galileo spent 14 years studying the giant planet and its moons, revealing insights about their composition and geology.
Magellan Maps Venus
The Shuttle Atlantis also transported the Magellan probe in 1989. Utilizing radar, Magellan mapped 98% of Venus's surface, uncovering volcanic activity and suggesting plate tectonics' presence.
Chandra X-Ray Observatory
Launched by Shuttle Columbia in 1999, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory examines high-energy regions of the universe. It has observed the aftermath of exploded stars and imaged black holes' x-ray emissions.