Atlantis Lifts Off on Mission to Hubble

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 11, 2009 1:35 PM CDT
Atlantis Lifts Off on Mission to Hubble
The crew of the Atlantis.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The space shuttle Atlantis and seven astronauts blasted off today en route to the Hubble Space Telescope. It is NASA's final trip to Hubble and comes after a seven-month delay. Atlantis and its crew were supposed to fly to Hubble last fall, but the telescope broke down. The telescope is in need of new equipment and repairs, and the shuttle should arrive at the orbiting observatory Wednesday.

story continues below

The $1 billion repair job will feature five spacewalks. The astronauts will install new cameras, batteries, and gyroscopes, and attempt to fix two broken science instruments on a mission fraught with more risk than usual. Atlantis will be flying in an unusually high orbit for a space shuttle, 350 miles up where there is more debris. Another shuttle is on a launch pad and ready to lift off on a rescue mission if Atlantis is seriously damaged during the 11-day flight. (Read more Hubble Space Telescope stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.