Hubble Space Telescope over Earth. Hubble Space Telescope (HST, centre right) in Earth orbit. The HST was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, and orbits at a height of around 600 kilometres. It is used to obtain pictures of stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects, free of the optical effects of the Earth's atmosphere. There have been several missions by space shuttles to service and repair the telescope. Photographed by one of the STS-109 crew members on the Space Shuttle Columbia on 9th March 2002.
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