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Astronauts Ready To Say Goodbye To Hubble For Good

CAPE CANAVERAL (AP) - It's time for NASA to say goodbye to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis Tuesday morning will gently toss the 19-year-old observatory back into orbit. That's after five successful spacewalks to install two new scientific instruments, fix two broken ones, and do general maintenance.

NASA says the handyman mission not only fixed Hubble, but it should last five to 10 more years and unlock even more mysteries of the cosmos.

There will be no more repair missions to Hubble. Sometime after 2020, NASA will send a robotic spaceship to steer Hubble back into the atmosphere and a watery grave.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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