The Hubble Telescope celebrates it’s 19th year since it’s blast off into space on the shuttle Discovery in 1990.
19 years of producing hundreds of incredible images like the one above. Happy Birthday indeed Hubble.
Hubble’s successor will be the The James Webb Space Telescope (not a very catchy name will we call it James?) is due to be launched in 2013. James will be put into a much higher distant orbit than Hubble and will use infrared allowing detection of the coldest objects and through dense dust clouds.
Hopefully the Hubble telescope will be able to be maintained until 2013 but with the shuttle fleet scheduled for decommissioning in 2010 there is some doubt. Hubble was designed for maintenance by shuttle and although robotic alternative solutions are in development there are no definite plans as yet.
Hubble has been an amazing success and every effort should be made to keep it operational for as long as possible. Every hour Hubble stays in service allows for ever more amazing discoveries.
hubblesite.org has to be the most amazing web site on the internet with hundreds of incredible images available for download. It is a must visit.