September 2009

Improved Hubble now Online

The refurbished and substantially upgraded Hubble telescope is back online after three months of intense testing to make sure the installation was properly calibrated. The space shuttle Atlantis completed the upgrades and repairs during a thirteen-day mission in May. Engineers expect the Hubble to continue being extremely productive at least until 2014; the Hubble installation is nineteen years old now, and the Hubble has already outlived initial expectations, so I have high hopes and expectations for the future.

In addition to vastly increasing the power of the telescope, new light-measuring instruments, gyroscopes, and a much better camera are already producing results.