Hubble space telescopes odometer to turn over 100,000 orbits on August 11

August 5th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 5 (ANI): The odometer on NASAs Hubble Space Telescope is about to turn over 100,000 orbits on August 11th.

Launched on April 24, 1990, Hubble zooms along at nearly five miles per second to remain in orbit. So, Hubbles actual odometer mileage is approximately 2.72 billion miles, the equivalent of 5,700 round trips to the Moon.

Thats not bad considering Hubble doesnt use fuel of any kind, only Earths gravity to maintain it in a circular orbit.

Although Hubble doesnt require fuel, it is similar to cars and other vehicles in that it does have wear and tear, and needs servicing and upgrading from time to time.

Its dinged by micrometeorite impacts, and sunlight and temperature extremes degrade its silvery thermal insulating material.

The telescope will get another tune-up in October when astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis make one final mechanics check to replace worn components and install spanking new instruments to extend Hubbles vision.

When Hubbles odometer completes 100,000 orbits, at that time, the spacecraft will be moving northward as it crosses the intersection point where its orbit passes directly over Earths equator. (ANI)

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