The Hubble Space Telescope was created to capture detailed images or objects that are too far away to be viewed with conventional telescopes. The Hubble's instruments create images that are far superior to those of terrestrial observatories, which suffer from the effects of atmospheric distortion.
The Hubble was launched in 1990 and has since recorded over 700,000 images. Astronauts have serviced and upgraded the telescope five times between 1993 and 2009. The discoveries Hubble has made possible have transformed how scientists understand the universe, and there have been more than 10,000 scientific publications that make use of data provided by the telescope.