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Hubble Space Telescope repair
In its 30-year history, the space-shuttle programme has carried 179 payloads into orbit and retrieved 52 for return to Earth. (In fact, Nasa calculates that 97 percent of man-made material that has returned safely from space has done so courtesy of a space shuttle).
Hubble's images were famously distorted by a mirror that had been ground to the wrong shape. Although it was impossible to remove the mirror in space, the technically fraught servicing mission in 1993 (captured in an early Imax film) corrected the telescope by fitting the COSTAR adaptive package into the telescope, and paved the way for ground-breaking observations.
Best known for its stunning images of the cosmos, Hubble made its one-millionth science observation on 4 July, 2011. It has captured 50 terabytes of data to date.
Photo credit: Nasa