Fourth Hubble Servicing Mission Launches -- March 1, 2002
This week in 2002, space shuttle Columbia and STS-109 launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to begin the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Here Hubble is berthed in Columbia’s cargo bay, silhouetted against the airglow of Earth's horizon. During this mission, astronauts replaced Hubble's solar panels and installed the Advanced Camera for Surveys, which took the place of Hubble's Faint Object Camera, the telescope's last original instrument. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has been involved in development of many of the agency’s optical instruments. Notably, Marshall played a significant role in NASA’s Great Observatories, managing the development of Hubble and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Burst and Transient Source Experiment for the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Marshall also manages Chandra's flight, current operations and guest science observer program and has played a significant role in the testing of Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. Scheduled to launch in October 2018, the Webb telescope will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars.
The NASA History Program is responsible for generating, disseminating, and preserving NASA’s remarkable history and providing a comprehensive understanding of the institutional, cultural, social, political, economic, technological, and scientific aspects of NASA’s activities in aeronautics and space. For more pictures like this one and to connect to NASA’s history, visit the Marshall History Program’s webpage. (NASA)