In this April 25, 1990, photograph taken by the crew of the STS-31 space shuttle mission, the Hubble Space Telescope is suspended above shuttle Discovery’s cargo bay some 332 nautical miles above Earth. The Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm, controlled from in-cabin by the astronaut crew members, held the huge telescope in this position during pre-deployment procedures, which included extension of solar array panels and antennae.
STS-31 was the tenth launch of the shuttle Discovery. On board were Commander Loren J. Shriver, Pilot Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (NASA Administrator 2009-2017), Mission Specialists Steven A. Hawley, Bruce McCandless II and Kathryn D. Sullivan (NOAA Administrator 2014-2017). To launch Hubble into an orbit that guaranteed longevity, Discovery soared to a record altitude of 600 km.
Image Credit: NASA