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The day in numbers: $900 million

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(CNN) -- NASA has announced plans for space shuttle astronauts to make one final repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in order to extend its operational life until 2013.

$900 million: The cost of the NASA mission scheduled for 2008 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, famous for its spectacular images of the universe.

1990: The year Hubble -- the world's first orbiting telescope and considered by many to be the most important astronomical instrument ever built -- was launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

1923: The year German physicist Hermann Oberth, mentor of NASA rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun, conceived the idea of an orbiting space telescope.

380 miles: The distance above the earth (612 km) at which Hubble orbits, above the distorting effects of the planet's atmosphere.

13.2 meters: The length of the solar-powered telescope, which is about the size of a school bus.

3-4 gigabtyes: The amount of data produced by Hubble each day.

12 billion: The number of years ago in the history of the universe that Hubble has allowed astronomers to look, enabling them to detect black holes, estimate the age and size of the universe and find evidence of its accelerating expansion.

4: The number of service trips paid to the telescope by astronauts in 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2002. The first mission was to repair a problem with the telescope's main mirror that blurred its vision.

5: The number of space walks astronauts will make during the 11-day mission to install new instruments allowing astronomers to look deeper into space and replace worn-out batteries and faulty gyroscopes.

2013: The date Hubble's successor the James Webb Telescope is due to become operational.

13.7 billion years: The estimated age of the universe.


The Hubble Space Telescope, in a photo from 2002, is set to have its life extended, thanks to a repair mission in 2008.



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