NASA launched the immense Hubble space telescope thirty years ago on Friday, a spacecraft that helped astronomers make numerous discoveries and is still operating in orbit today.
The ambition and size of the Hubble project meant utilizing several of NASA's space centers. The agency commissioned PerkinElmer to build Hubble's mirror, while Lockheed Martin was commissioned to assemble the spacecraft and integrate the telescope on to it. Despite early problems with the PerkinElmer-built mirror, NASA launched a replacement a few years later and the telescope was ultimately successful.
Lockheed Martin built the complex spacecraft at its facility in Sunnyvale, California. On the whole, Hubble weighs more than 12 tons and the spacecraft is 43.5 feet long.
Lockheed Martin continues to support the Hubble telescope since its launch on April 24, 1990. The company's employees help NASA manage day-to-day operations. Lockheed Martin has also provided training for the five times NASA astronauts serviced Hubble, replacing and repairing critical components in space.
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