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Hubble Space Telescope Turns 21 This Weekend

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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Hubble Space Telescope turns 21 this weekend.

The Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute coordinates use of the Hubble telescope.

To celebrate Sunday’s anniversary of the telescope’s 1990 launch, the institute has pointed the Hubble at a photogenic pair of galaxies. The larger of the spiral galaxies has a disk distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the other galaxy.

Space shuttle astronauts repaired the aging space telescope in 2009 during a series of space walks. That mission was expected to extend the telescope’s life another five to 10 years.

The telescope has been one of the space program’s proudest achievements, providing breathtaking pictures of distant galaxies.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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