A joint venture between the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Hubble Space Telescope was first proposed in the 1940s, designed and constructed in the 1970s and 1980s, and was launched in 1990 by the crew of the space shuttle Discovery.

The Hubble Space Telescope is in a low earth orbit at an altitude of 595 km (370 mi) and circles the earth every 97 minutes. Since it is above the earth's atmosphere, HST has an optical resolution that is ten times better than ground-based telescopes.

The Hubble Space Telescope is also equipped with cameras and spectrographs that provide information on the chemical composition, temperature and density of objects that are many light years away.