Servicing the Hubble Space Telescope

John Grunsfeld performs a final servicing mission on Hubble on May 14, 2009. Courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope Institute and NASA.Space Shuttle astronauts have visited the Hubble Space Telescope every few years to replace various components, extending its life and improving its instruments.  After the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew in 2003, the final servicing mission was canceled.  However, after NASA received an avalanche of requests to keep the Hubble alive, NASA administrators reversed themselves and approved one more mission, shown here. In the image at right Astronaut John Grunsfeld performs the first of five spacewalks on May 14, 2009, during a week of work on the orbiting observatory, providing it with new and improved instruments and several more years of life.