Earth's limb fills the lower-left half of the image. Hubble is against the black background of space just above and to the right of center.

Hubble Orbiting Earth in December 1999

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) orbits gracefully above the blue Earth in December 1999 at the conclusion of HST servicing mission 3A. Hubble's release moments earlier by the Space Shuttle Discovery’s robotic arm marked the fourth time that a space shuttle had set the great observatory into space. Those occasions were the telescope's initial release in 1990 and three subsequent servicing missions including this one, shuttle mission STS-103.

Credits: NASA