NASA's famous Hubble Space Telescope has passed an incredible milestone that only further engraves its place in the space telescope hall of fame.
Phys.org reports that NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has officially passed the 1 billion second mark over the 31 years it has been operating. During that time, the famous telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, has been serviced by astronauts five times and is the only space telescope that is designed to be serviced by astronauts. The servicing missions include astronauts replacing core components that have malfunctioned over prolonged use.
For context of this "use", Hubble has made more than 1.5 million scientific observations over its operational time, and that number is still growing today. During its operation time, researchers have used Hubble to unlock deeper understandings of the universe and how it works, with its instruments leading to breakthroughs in astrophysics such as a more precise estimation of the expansion of the universe, black holes, and more.
The first one billion seconds of Hubble's life impacted the scientific field greatly, just imagine what the first one-billion seconds of Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will be able to achieve. The JWST launched on Christmas Day and is currently undergoing its unfolding process. Hubble is expected to last until 2030 - 2040, so for many years, Hubble and the JWST will be working together to delve deep into the universe's many mysteries.
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