Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4

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Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4

Space Shuttle Atlantis with Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4

This artist's concept shows the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. In the background is one of the most impressive massive young star clusters in the Milky Way — the spectacular star-forming region NGC 3603 — as imaged by Hubble. This image was produced in anticipation of the launch of STS-125, the fifth and final servicing mission to Hubble.

Servicing Mission 4 is the fifth such mission to Hubble because NASA decided to split the third Servicing Mission (SM3) into two parts, SM3A and SM3B, after the third of Hubble's six gyroscopes failed (Hubble uses three gyroscopes when observing a target, although it can operate with two or one if necessary). Servicing Mission 3A took place in 1999 and Servicing Mission 3B in 2002.

Credit: ESA/Luis Calçada and NASA

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