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Final Hubble repair mission begins

The final mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope lifted off May 11

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2:03pm, May 11, 2009

Editor's note: The fifth and final servicing mission to the aging Hubble Space Telescope successfully lifted off aboard the space shuttle Atlantis at 2:01 p.m. EDT on May 11. The repair mission will be the most complex and difficult Hubble makeover ever attempted. The story below originally appeared in the September 27, 2008, Science News and describes details of what the repair mission will do. For launch details, visit the Hubble repair mission site.

Loosening a half-inch screw may not sound like a job for a rocket scientist.

But now imagine performing that task 32 times with your hand inside a pressurized glove so stiff it’s hard to bend your fingers, let alone grab a screwdriver. Now try holding on to the screwdriver in your gloved hand but while you’re floating in space. One additional obstacle: A strut blocks direct access to the scre
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