April, 24, 2011 marks Hubble space telescopes 20th year of service, since 1990. But keeping Hubble to last 20 years was not easy on NASA. In 2004, the association announced it was canceling Hubble’s current mission in order to repair some major damage. Extremely expensive damage! In other words, it was going into retirement. This was met by public outrage. In fact, a young 2nd grader sent NASA a letter promising to donate her lunch money for Hubble’s sake. This was just one of the many letters that NASA got; all with the heart and determination to help the space observatory. “This shows the publics affection toward the telescope”
Hubble has been a large aid to our leap in astronomy over the past two decades. It was NASA’s star pupil. Hubble has taken amazing photographs of Jupiter, gas bubbles, Mars, comet fragments, elder stars and much more. Rather than older ones like it, Hubble was special because of its optical lens, rather than radio or infrared lens. This allows us to see much more color detail movements, which have been key to astronomers.
After astronauts fixed a minor mirror lens fracture in 1993, Hubble first set off to take the first accurate optical lens photograph above Earths image-distorting atmosphere. In Hubble’s lifetime it has taken 110,000 trips around just Earth. The telescope has numerously changed the content of textbooks on astronomy. Hubble’s early pictures of stellar explosions have led scientists to sum up the existence of Dark Matter. Also at the turn of the century, Hubble sent information that strongly went toward practicality of the Big Bang theory. Its beautiful photographs have even led scientists to the outer most parts of the solar system; even to the Kuiper Belt, where it captured the first photograph of outer solar system planetariums. Hubble’s astounding photos have been given places in museums and the most prestigious astronomy textbooks. Its website gets an average of 200 million hits a month. Hubble’s newest lens has even let us capture the most distant galaxies to date. A promised key in future discoveries. This milestone in the telescopes life marks the birthday of one of the most modern and intelligent creations to date.