The Hubble Space Telescope is very big
about the size of a large school bus or tanker
truck. The tubular part of Hubble's body is 14
feet across, and the telescope stands 43 feet
tall about as high as a five-story building.
On the ground, it would weigh over 25,000 pounds,
but in space it weighs nothing. When the space
shuttle Discovery carried Hubble into orbit, the
telescope completely filled Discovery's cargo
bay. Hubble is pictured in Discovery's cargo bay
during the December 1999 servicing mission.
Hubble orbits about 353 miles (569 kilometers)
above the Earth, and it takes about 97 minutes
to complete one orbit. It is designed to receive
regular tune-ups from the astronauts, who keep
Hubble healthy and fit it with the latest technology.
It is about halfway through its 20-year mission.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint effort between
NASA and the European Space Agency.