Happy Birthday, Hubble. No, I don't mean the man named Edwin Hubble, I mean the space telescope that was named after him. Yes, it is 26 years old today, as of 09:25 this morning; the time of lift-off of the STS-31 launch vehicle (the space shuttle's 31st launch) that carried the satellite into orbit. Do you know, since then, there have been five missions to correct problems and to service it?
When first launched, the pictures it took and sent back to Mission Control were distorted, so four more missions were launched to correct and service the telescope. The fifth mission to the Hubble was cancelled for safety reasons after the Columbia broke apart and scattered pieces across several states. Oh yes, above, I did say that there were five missions. Yes, there was another one, the last. It was 41 months later that STS-114 serviced the Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble orbits the Earth every 97 minutes (actually every 96.5 minutes) at a height of 347 miles and speeding along at 4.66 miles per second. Oh dang, why don't I just copy and past some of Hubble's info:
Here is picture of a shuttle being launched:
And here it is, doing its job out in a high orbit around Earth:
Now, how about a few of the pictures that the Hubble Space Telescope sent back to us on Earth:
The Hubble Space Telescope could last for years, sending us back wondrous pictures until 2030 or 2040 and maybe beyond. I don't know about you, but on this day, Hubble's Birthday, I would like to wish it a happy birthday and many, many more. Now, you all have a great day, you hear?