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A space icon turns 25

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Science  24 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6233, pp. 386-387
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6233.386

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Summary

Twenty-five years after its launch, the Hubble Space Telescope is still going strong. Its instruments are fully functional, and the orbiting observatory keeps cranking out the sorts of new results that have made it famous. It has helped measure the age and expansion of the universe, shown the ubiquity of supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies, watched a comet crash into Jupiter, and imaged some of the first galaxies that formed after the big bang. But all good things must end. With no space shuttle to ferry astronauts up to make repairs, Hubble's instruments are expected to fail sometime in the next decade. Meanwhile, on Earth, researchers planning a successor mission are discovering that Hubble is tough act to follow.

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