On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle "Discovery", carrying the Hubble Space Telescope, blasted off from Florida. It was a rocky couple of first years for the Hubble, with a flawed mirror that caused the first photos to be LESS than spectacular.

But, after repairs were made by space shuttle astronauts on five "service missions" starting three years later, NASA took some incredible photos. The Hubble will probably operate until 2020 and then the new James Webb Space Telescope will take over.

To celebrate Hubble's birthday, National Geographic has some of the best photos from the past 25 years




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