The Daily Telegraph - Review - - Television Friday 24 April -

BBC Two, 9.00pm

Thirty years ago today, Nasa launched the

Hub­ble Space Tele­scope into or­bit around Earth. Since then it has trav­elled more than 6.5 billion km, cap­tur­ing images that have rev­o­lu­tionised our view of space. It points its tele­scope far and wide, from our neigh­bour­ing plan­ets, to gal­ax­ies many mil­lions of light-years away. This as­ton­ish­ing doc­u­men­tary chronicles its great­est achieve­ments, as well as the dev­as­tat­ing Space Shut­tle Columbia disaster in 2003, which killed seven as­tro­nauts as it dis­in­te­grated on re-en­try when re­turn­ing from a re­pair mis­sion.

Ev­ery story told here is one of baf­fling dif­fi­culty and ac­com­plish­ment, from its dis­cov­ery of the Her­cules Ne­bula, with its tow­er­ing pil­lars over 1,000 times longer than the length of our so­lar sys­tem, to the Hub­ble Ultra Deep Field im­age that con­tains nearly 10,000 gal­ax­ies. But it also puts a hu­man face on those mis­sions, meet­ing both those on the ground and those who risked their lives go­ing into space to main­tain Hub­ble, and the years of study and train­ing that it takes – the peo­ple who know what it’s like to hold a piece of equip­ment worth more than $100 mil­lion and the stag­ger­ing con­se­quences of a sim­ple bro­ken screw. It’s im­pos­si­ble not to be awed by their sto­ries. Cather­ine Gee

Space­man: Mike Mas­simino on a re­pair mis­sion to Hub­ble

Around the World by Train with Tony Robin­son

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