The Hubble Space Telescope's 94-inch mirror, 1984.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The mirror is being inspected by technicians at Perkin-Elmer in Connecticut. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was designed to see seven times further into space than had been posible before, without the distortion caused by the Earth's atmosphere. Work began in 1977 and the HST was finally launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery on 24th April 1990. Problems with its giant mirror meant that it did not initially work as well as expected. Corrective optics were installed on another Shuttle mision in 1993, greatly improving the telescope's performance.