Hubble’s hits and beyond


from Hubble’s legacy by Mario Livio

In-flight servicing has prolonged the space telescope’s life, paving the way for future missions.
The Hubble Space Telescope is launched on the space shuttle Discovery on 24 April. Distortions in the mirror are discovered on 25 June.
In the first servicing mission, astronauts fix the optics and install a new camera.
The first Hubble Deep Field image is released, showing far-flung galaxies.
1997, 1999 & 2002
Servicing missions add a spectrograph and an infrared camera, fix worn gyroscopes that keep the telescope pointing correctly, and replace a camera and solar panels.
2004, 2007
Power supplies fail on the spectrograph (2004) and on a camera (2007).
Hubble shows exoplanet Fomalhaut b and completes its hundred-thousandth orbit of Earth.
Astronauts carry out extensive repairs, and install a new camera and spectrograph.
Hubble makes its millionth observation (of an exoplanet) and the ten-thousandth scientific paper using its data is published (concerning supernovae).
The James Webb Space Telescope will open up infrared views of the Universe.
~ 2024
WFIRST/AFTA will enable large surveys in the infrared from space.
~ 2030
Proposed launch of a new major observatory to image and characterize exoplanets.


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