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Hubble peers into universe again

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-31

After a month of repairing, Nasa's Hubble telescope is back in business. Launched in 1990, Hubble is considered one of the sharpest tools to observe the evolutions of our galaxy.

The Hubble Space Telescope is back in action after a four-week break to fix problems in sending data back to Earth, the European Space Agency and NASA said on Thursday.

Pictures of a pair of distant interacting galaxies called Arp 147 show the telescope's prime camera "is working exactly as it was before going offline, thereby scoring a 'perfect 10' both for performance and beauty," they said in separate press releases.

The Hubble's instruments were suspended automatically on September 27 after a problem emerged in a unit that stores and transmits data back to Earth.

The telescope was brought back online on October 25, NASA said.

The problem forced NASA to postpone a manned repair mission to the telescope from October to February next year.

Launched in 1990, Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of 575 kilometres (357 miles), using powerful instruments to peer into deep space.

It is considered one of the greatest tools in the history of astronomy, providing insights into the origins and evolution of the Universe.

ESA contributed a 15 percent share to Hubble's development and in return European astronomers receive a guaranteed 15 percent share of observing time.

Date created : 2008-10-30

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