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Hubble at 25: Nasa celebrates the anniversary of the launch of its famous space telescope

The telescope was launched on 24 April 1990 at a cost of $1.5billion

Jack Simpson
Thursday 23 April 2015 19:04 BST
The 25th anniversary of the Hubble's launch is on Friday
The 25th anniversary of the Hubble's launch is on Friday (Nasa)

On Friday, the Hubble Telescope will enjoy its 25th anniversary.

Launched a quarter of a century ago, the Hubble Telescope has been one of Nasa’s greatest success stories, capturing hundreds of thousands of incredible images and expanding our knowledge of the universe above our heads.

After problems with the camera in the first three years following its launch, the $1.5billion joint venture by Nasa and the European Space proved its worth after being repaired when it captured its first celestial event, the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 breaking into fragments and plunging into Jupiter.

Aptly named after Edwin Hubble, the scientist who first discovered the universe was expanding; it has been given praised for helping scientists to work out the age of the universe, as well as allowing them to better measure the rate at which the universe is expanding.

Its other accomplishments include the discovery of the first organic molecule outside of our solar system and the Hubble Deep fields, a series of observations that scientists credit for providing them with a 'scrapbook' full of snapshots of the early universe.

Despite the Hubble still going strong after over 20 years of service, work is already well under way on its successor the James Webb Space telescope.

The $8.8 billion JWST is set to be three times large, and 100 times as powerful as the Hubble and it is hoped that it will give scientists views of the far corners of the universe and is expected to be launched in 2018.

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