News FocusAstronomy

Shuttle Crew Set to Prepare Hubble For a Star-Studded Grand Finale

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Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 718-719
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_718

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This month, a mission to fix and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope will blast skyward in hopes of giving the orbiting observatory a fresh lease on life and another shot at glory. If all goes well, NASA officials and researchers outside the agency say the upgraded Hubble will send home images of the near and distant universe far more detailed than anything seen before. In doing so, the telescope should enable astronomers to gain new insights into fundamental questions such as the structure of the universe and the nature of dark matter. Observations made by the new instruments should also provide researchers with a better understanding of the evolution of galaxies, the birth of stars, and the composition of intergalactic gases.