On April 24, 1990, NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery. The telescope was named after the American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who made groundbreaking discoveries about the universe, including the existence of other galaxies beyond our Milky Way.
The Hubble Space Telescope was the first of its kind, designed to be a large, long-lived observatory capable of capturing high-resolution images of the universe in visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. It was equipped with a 2.4-meter mirror and a suite of scientific instruments that allowed astronomers to study everything from nearby planets to the most distant galaxies in the universe.
Although the Hubble Space Telescope was initially plagued with technical problems, including a flawed mirror that caused blurry images, it has since become one of the most productive scientific instruments in history. The telescope has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries, including the age and size of the universe, the existence of dark energy, and the formation of stars and galaxies.
Over the years, the Hubble Space Telescope has been serviced and upgraded several times by astronauts on space shuttle missions. Its current mission, which began in 2009, is expected to continue until the 2030s.
As we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch, we are reminded of the profound impact it has had on our understanding of the universe and our place within it.