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Two Decades of Hubble

Hubble Space TelescopeAfter a week of excitement?complex volcanism, the 40th Earth Day, and cinematic cephalopods?the weekend brought us the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch. On April 24, 1990, Space Shuttle Discovery lugged the silvery tube of mirrors, circuitry, and solar panels into low earth orbit; now both the shuttle and telescope are in the twilight of their careers. Discovery is scheduled to fly the last Space Shuttle mission in September, and while Hubble will likely keep working for a few more years on the back of its final repairs, this anniversary marks the official end of its mission. But no matter how much longer it lasts, Hubble already has a lot to show for its two decades of service.