May 12, 2009 |
The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off Monday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a challenging 11-day mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. The shuttle and its seven-person crew lifted off on schedule at 2 p.m. EDT, reaching orbit after an eight-minute jump from a standing start to 17,000 mph. At a post-launch media briefing, NASA officials said it appeared the spacecraft had performed nearly flawlessly.
May 10, 2009 |
After 19 years of service, during which time it has provided the most eye-popping images ever of galaxies, nebulae and, most recently, of a planet orbiting an alien star, the Hubble Space Telescope is suffering the pains of old age. It's unsteady, with only half its gyroscopes working, and several of its key science instruments are broken. To restore the ailing telescope to its former glory, NASA on Monday is set to launch the fifth and final repair mission to the orbiting telescope.
December 13, 2008 |
Researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a star 63 light-years from Earth, the first demonstration that it is possible to monitor atmospheric chemistry on such distant exoplanets. Carbon dioxide could be associated with processes involving life, but in this case it probably is not because the Jupiter-sized planet, called HD 189733b, is too hot. Previous observations by Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescope have also found water vapor and methane in the planet's atmosphere.
December 6, 2008 |
NASA has set a May date for its space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope for a final time. The space agency announced Thursday that it plans to launch the shuttle Atlantis on May 12 for what is to be an 11-day repair and upgrade mission to the $10-billion space telescope. NASA was going to fix Hubble in October, but weeks before the shuttle launch, a glitch in Hubble's science computer forced a delay. The problem was solved but NASA wants to deliver a new backup, and testing has caused delays.
November 14, 2008 |
Reaching a milestone in the search for Earth-like planets in the universe, two teams of astronomers say they have parted the curtains of space to take the first pictures of planets beyond our solar system. The first team, led by UC Berkeley researchers, used the Hubble Space Telescope to take a picture of a giant planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut, 25 light-years away. "It's almost science fiction," said Berkeley astronomer Eugene Chiang.
October 31, 2008 |
It was a good news, bad news day for NASA on Thursday as space agency managers announced that they had successfully restarted the broken Hubble Space Telescope, but acknowledged that they won't be ready to send a repair team to the 18-year-old instrument until May at the earliest. After reactivating two cameras on Hubble, scientists beamed its first pictures to Earth since a glitch idled the telescope several weeks ago.
October 24, 2008 |
The ailing Hubble Space Telescope could be snapping pictures of the heavens again as early as Saturday after engineers fixed one of the problems that has largely shut down the instrument for the last three weeks. "We spent the last week reviewing," said Art Whipple, manager of the Hubble Systems Management Office at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Now we're ready to resume recovery."
October 18, 2008 |
NASA's efforts to get the ailing Hubble Space Telescope working again have hit a snag, and engineers are trying to figure out their next step. Officials had hoped to have the 18-year-old observatory back in business Friday, after it stopped sending pictures three weeks ago. But a pair of problems cropped up Thursday. First, a low-voltage power supply problem prevented one of the Hubble's cameras from rebooting properly, and then computer trouble struck, and all efforts ceased.