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Last Updated: Tuesday October 31 2006 19:15 GMT

Space telescope to be rescued

Hubble telescope

A giant telescope floating high above the Earth, which has given us amazing pictures of space, is going to be fixed after fears it could be scrapped.

The Hubble Space Telescope needs new parts after spending 17 years in orbit, but experts thought a repair mission could be too dangerous.

But because of new changes to the craft that takes people into space, they now think there shouldn't be a problem.

The mission, which will use the shuttle Discovery, should launch in 2008.

The pictures taken by Hubble have often been beautiful.

If the Discovery is damaged on its flight, it will stay in space and another shuttle will blast off to rescue the stranded astronauts.

Amazing images

Hubble has helped teach us about the way the Universe works, showing far-off stars and fantastic sights.

This repair mission should keep it in working order until 2013.

By that time, space agency Nasa will be almost ready to launch its replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope.

Hubble Space Telescope
Launched 600km above the Earth in 1990
15.9m long; 4.2m wide; weighs 11,110kg
Made more than 93,000 trips around our planet
Looked at more than 24,000 things in space