Tag Archives: Hubble 25th anniversary

Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Didn’t Come Easily

Peter Lobner

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on 24 April 1990 by the space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-31, and was deployed into orbit on 25 April. You can find details on the design of Hubble at the following link:


During system checkout, it was determined that a design error had been made and Hubble’s primary optics suffered from spherical aberration. This optical problem was corrected in 1993 on Servicing Mission 1 (SM1), which also resolved several other issues. Over Hubble’s 25 year operating life, five servicing missions were conducted by space shuttle astronauts.

SM-1 – launched 2 Dec 1993, shuttle Endeavour
SM-2 – launched 11 Feb 1997, shuttle Discovery
SM-3A – launched 19 Dec 1999, shuttle Discovery
SM-3B – launched 1 Mar 2002, shuttle Columbia
SM-4 – launched 11 May 2009, shuttle Atlantis

The Hubble today is quite a different machine than the one launched in 1990. You can see details of each servicing mission at the following NASA website:


NASA’s Hubble mission website is at the following link:


Here you have access to details about Hubble’s 25-year mission, including an extensive photo gallery. NASA’s official photo to commemorate the 25th anniversary is the following photo of the Westerlund 2 star cluster taken by Hubble’s near-infrared Wide-Field Camera 3, which was installed during SM-4.

image Source:  NASA