Hubble’s Final Servicing Mission

Patricia Daukantas

Scientists predict that this last round of repairs will finally allow astronomers to realize the full potential of the orbiting telescope.


figureSTS-103 payload commander Steven L. Smith retrieved a power tool while standing on a mobile foot restraint during a Hubble servicing mission in 1999.

This month, if all goes well, a seven-person crew will blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for the fifth and final astronaut visit to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis will make some of the most technically challenging repairs they’ve ever attempted in low Earth orbit—but if they succeed, astronomers will have the best optical instruments flown in space.

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