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Exploring Space: Images from NASA - HUBBLE GETS GLASSES

HUBBLE GETS GLASSES (Illustration) Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts Astronomy

Before Hubble’s mirror was repaired, the orbiting telescope had blurry vision. This “before/after” image reflects “the fix.” NASA tells us more: “This comparison image of the core of galaxy M100 shows the dramatic improvement in the Hubble telescope's view of the universe. The new image (right) was taken with the second generation Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC2), which was installed during the STS-61 Hubble Servicing Mission.” Credit: NASA, STScI.

 

To fix Hubble’s blurry vision, NASA sent the shuttle Endeavour on a repair trip in December of 1993. The mission - STS-61 -  was the fifty-ninth time a shuttle was launched into space.

During the eleven-day trip, astronauts set a record of five space walks, spanning more than thirty-five hours.  They worked on  the telescope as it was “docked” in the shuttle’s payload bay.

Astronauts have made four more trips to Hubble,  upgrading, servicing and then releasing one of the world’s most treasured sources of space information. A famous picture of the telescope, as it appears during its working state,  was taken in February, 1997, as the shuttle Discovery neared the orbiting observatory.

Atlantis, in mission STS-125, made a "final" repair trip to the orbiting space telescope. A risky mission, due to space debris in Hubble's orbit, NASA officials ordered Endeavour to stand-by - on the launch pad - in case Atlantis, or the crew, encountered difficulties.

After Hubble’s vision was corrected, it began to send clear electronic images to its base in Maryland. One of the most stunning is of the Eagle Nebula - also called  M16 - in the Serpens constellation.

What, exactly, is a nebula? And...what are some of the most notable?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Oct 04, 2017


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