The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was put into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery, mision STS-31, on 24 April 1990. In this picture taken from Discovery, HST is shown still in the grasp of the Shuttle's robot arm, with the Earth in the background. It has deployed one of its solar array panels but has not yet extended the second. 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. Problems with its giant mirror meant that it did not initially work as well as expected. Corrective optics were installed in 1993, greatly improving the telescope's performance, enabling it to view the Universe in unprecedented detail.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society