The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on 24 April 1990, by the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The telescope was the product of a cooperative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
After launch, it was decided that on-orbit servicing every three years would be preferable to returning the Telescope to Earth every five years, as originally planned.
The first servicing and repair mission took place on 9 December 1993.
The telescope was captured by the space shuttle Endeavour, and repairs were carried out by astronauts Story Musgrave and Jeff Hofman, travelling at 27,358 kilometres per hour, and 580 km above the Earth.
Among other defects requiring repair, the astronauts corrected a fault in the telescope’s mirrors which caused the instrument to transmit out-of-focus images of deep space, no better than images seen from Earth.