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Historical Milestones of the Hubble Project

2009 - Servicing Mission 4 (SM4)

  • May 11, 2009: (STS-125) Launch Shuttle Atlantis
  • Remove Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WF/PC2) and install Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in its place
  • Remove the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) and install the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) in its place
  • Replace all gyroscopes
  • Replace one Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS)
  • Replace all batteries
  • Install New Outer Blanket Layers (NOBLs)
  • Install Soft Capture Mechanism (SCM)
  • Replace Science Instrument Control and Data Handling (SIC&DH) unit
  • Repair the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS)
  • Repair the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS)

2002 - Servicing Mission 3B (SM3B)

  • March 1, 2002: (STS-109) Launch Shuttle Columbia
  • Installation of ACS
  • Installation of NCS
  • Replace SA2 with SA3 (solar arrays)

1999 - Servicing Mission 3A (SM3A)

  • December 19, 1999: (STS-103) Launch of Shuttle Discovery
  • Replacement of RSU (Rate Sensing Units containing gyroscopes)
  • Installation of new computer
  • General maintenance

November 13, 1999: Hubble placed in safe mode after the failure of a fourth gyroscope.

1998 - HST Orbital Systems Test (HOST)

  • October 29, 1998: (STS-95) Launch of Shuttle Discovery
  • HOST mission was flown to test new technologies for installation into Hubble during servicing missions 3A and 3B

1997 - Servicing Mission 2 (SM2)

  • February 11, 1997: (STS-82) Launch of Shuttle Discovery
  • STIS replaced FOS
  • NICMOS replaced GHRS

1993 - Servicing Mission 1 (SM1)

  • December 2, 1993: (STS-61) Launch of Shuttle Endeavour
  • COSTAR corrective optics installed, replacing HSP
  • WFPC2 replaced WFPC

1990 - Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Deployed

  • April 24, 1990: (STS-31) Launch of Shuttle Discovery
  • April 25, 1990: Hubble Space Telescope deployed into orbit
  • June 25, 1990: Spherical aberration discovered in Hubble's primary mirror
  • COSTAR Approved: the creation of a complex packaging of five optical mirror pairs which would rectify the spherical aberration in Hubble's primary mirror

1981 - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
Operations begin in Baltimore, Maryland. The STScI was built as the astronomical research center for the Hubble Space Telescope.

1977 - Congress approves funding for The Hubble Space Telescope
NASA names its largest, most complex, and capable orbiting telescope in honor of Edwin Hubble.

1969 - The LST - Large Space Telescope
Astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer gathered the support of other astronomers for a "large orbital telescope".
In 1969, the National Academy of Sciences gave its approval for the Large Space Telescope (LST) project, and the hearings and feasibility studies continued.

1923 - Conception of a Space Telescope
Famed rocket scientist Herman Oberth publishes an article speculating on telescopes in orbit.
Space pioneer Hermann Oberth was considered by many to be the most famous mentor of the late Dr. Wernher von Braun, the first director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

1918 - Edwin Hubble and the Hooker Telescope
2.5-meter (100-inch) Hooker Telescope begins operations at Mt. Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. With this telescope in the 1920's, astronomer Edwin Hubble measured the distances and velocities of galaxies, work which led to his discovery of the expanding Universe.