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  Columbia astronauts grab hold of Hubble
Updated 03 March 2002, 16.41
The telescope was captured with a robotic arm
The telescope was captured with a robotic arm

The US space shuttle Columbia has managed to get hold of the Hubble space telescope after a hitch which could have stopped the whole mission.

  Click here for amazing pictures from Hubble!

The astronauts used a robotic arm to grab the telescope, which has been orbiting the earth at a nippy 27,000 kilometres per hour!

'Old friend'

Fact File
Hubble history
1977 - Project begins
1985 - Hubble built
1990, 24 April - Hubble launched
1990, 18 May - First light
1993, December - Wonky mirror fixed
1997, February - Second servicing mission
1999, December - Emergency service to repair gyroscopes
2002, March - Repairs not done in 1999
2010 - End of Hubble mission

The mission was almost abandoned when they found a problem with the shuttle's vital cooling system.

But now Hubble's anchored, the crew can fix and update some of the of its old instruments.

As they secured the craft, astronaut John Grunsfeld - who's worked on Hubble before - said: "It's great to see an old friend".

The spacemen are now looking forward to five days of space-walking.

They'll certainly be getting a stunning view up there!

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Hear story!Hear story!
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More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesAmazing pics from Hubble
Find OutGuide to the international space station
Find OutFind out about space!
QuizSuper-dooper space quiz!

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Hitch puts Hubble mission in danger
Green satellite blasts safely into space
Blur song goes into space
Satellite breaks up over Egypt
South African man books a holiday in space
Space telescope probes distant planet
Distant galaxy snapped by telescope
New planets discovered

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