Timeline

 

Year

Event

 
1977 American congress approves funding for the Large Space Telescope  
1978 Astronauts begin training for space telescope missions  
1979 Work begins on the telescope’s 2.4-metre mirror mirror
1981 Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) begins operations in Baltimore, Maryland STScI
1983 The Large Space Telescope is renamed Hubble, after Edwin P. Hubble, the astronomer who proved the existence of other galaxies and discovered the first evidence for an expanding universe  
1984 Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) begins operations in Garching, Munich ST-ECF(Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility)
1985 Work on building Hubble is completed  
1986 Challenger disaster puts all Shuttle flights on hold. Launch of Hubble delayed  
1990

Launch: Shuttle Discovery (STS-31) launched on 24 April 1990.  Hubble deployed on 25 April 1990.

Schuttle Discovery (STS-31)
  Spherical aberration discovered in the Hubble primary mirror, 25 June 1990. opo9405c
  COSTAR approved: The creation of a complex package of five optical mirror pairs to rectify the spherical aberration in Hubble's primary mirror. COSTAR
1993

First Servicing Mission (STS-61) launched on 2 December 1993 (Endeavour).

COSTAR corrective optics installed, replacing HSP (High Speed Photometer).

WFPC2 (Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2) replaced WFPC1 (Wide Field and Planetary Camera 1).

hstsm2f
1994 Hubble takes pictures of comet Shoemaker Levy 9 as it hits Jupiter.  Shoemaker-Levy 9 hits Jupiter
1995 Hubble takes the famous “pillars of creation” photo of the Eagle Nebula.  Pillars of creation
1996

The first Hubble Deep Field is released, showing the unimaginable number of galaxies in the Universe.

Hubble resolves quasar host galaxies.

 Hubble Deep Field
1997

Servicing Mission 2 (STS-82) launched on 11 February 1997 (Discovery).

STIS (Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph) replaced FOS (Faint Object Spectrograph).

NICMOS (Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrograph) replaces GHRS (Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph).
HST Servicing Mission 2 (1997)
1998 HST Orbital Systems Test (HOST - STS-95) launched on 29 October 1998 (Discovery). The HOST mission was flown to test new technologies to be used in Hubble on the Third Servicing Mission and beyond. HOST
1999

Servicing Mission 3A (STS-103) launched on 19 December 1999 (Discovery).

Replacement of gyroscopes.

General maintenance (no science instruments replaced).

Servicing Mission 3A
2001

Hubble observations detect the elements in the atmosphere of exoplanet HD 209458b.

 
2002

Servicing Mission 3B launched on 1 March 2002.

Installation of ACS.

Installation of NICMOS Cooling System (NCS).

Installation of new Solar Panels.
Servicing Mission 3B
2004

Power supply on STIS fails.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field released.
 
2005 Hubble images two previously unknown moons orbiting Pluto.  Pluto and its moons
2006 Hubble observations show that the dwarf planet Eris is bigger than Pluto.  
2007 The power supply on the Advanced Camera for Surveys, one of Hubble’s key instruments, fails.  
2008

Hubble photographs exoplanet Fomalhaut b, one of the first to be confirmed through direct imaging.

Hubble completes its 100,000th orbit around the Earth.
 Fomalhaut
2009

Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125) launched on 11 May 2009.

Installation of WFC3 (Wide Field Camera 3).

Installation of COS (Cosmic Origins Spectrograph).

STIS and ACS repaired.

Gyroscopes and batteries replaced.

Soft Capture Mechanism installed.

NOBLs (New Outer Blanket Layers) installed.
Servicing Mission 4

COS
2010

Hubble images show distant galaxies with likely redshifts greater than 8, showing the Universe as it was when it was less than a tenth of its current age.

 
2011

Hubble makes its millionth observation, a spectroscopic analysis of the exoplanet HAT-P-7b.

10 000th scientific paper using Hubble data is published, identifying the faintest supernova ever to be associated with a long-duration gamma-ray burst.

 Hubble publication statistics