The space telescope Hubble crossed another milestone this month. NASA says the 31-year-old telescope spent one billionth of a second in space.
The space telescope was launched from the space shuttle Discovery’s cargo on April 25, 1990, floating 340 miles above the earth’s surface.
On January 1, 2022, Hubble completed one billion seconds of its operation, during which time it created some of the most spectacular space images ever made.
In addition to thrilling images, Hubble has also made some new scientific discoveries, including determining the age of the universe to be 13.8 billion years.
In those one billion seconds, Hubble went through five astronaut repair missions and made more than 1.5 million scientific observations.
Celebrating this milestone, NASA wrote that we can only imagine what discoveries will be made in the next one billion seconds.
Hubble’s operation is expected to continue for many years to come, despite recent reports that the observatory will be completely or partially offline.
NASA said it could only imagine what the next generation of space observatories, including the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, would discover.
The US space agency wrote that the James Webb Space Telescope and the Mustang’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope were based on Hubble’s discoveries and would work with Hubble to enhance our understanding of the universe.
Hubble is a joint project of the US agency NASA and the European Space Agency, which astronauts frequently visited from 1993 to 2009.