Source: Xinhua

05-12-2009 11:53

Special Report:   Tech Max

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis lifted off Monday with seven-member crew onboard from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on a mission to upgrade the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope for the last time.

Hubble, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1990, was named after U.S. astronomer Edwin Hubble whose work revolutionized our understanding of the size and structure of the universe.

Hubble has given the world amazing insight into the origins of our universe. The following is a brief introduction to Hubble and its achievements:

Hubble weighs 24,500 pounds -- as much as two full-grown elephants. It is 13.3 meters long -- the length of a large school bus. Its primary mirror is 2.4 meters across.

Each day the orbiting observatory generates about 10 gigabytes of data, enough information to fill the hard drive of a typical home computer in two weeks. Its archive sends about 66 gigabytes of data each day to astronomers around the world.

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