The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a cooperative program of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) to operate a long-lived space-based observatory; it was the first and flagship mission of NASA's Great Observatories program. The HST program began as an astronomical dream in the 1940s. During the 1970s and 1980s, HST was finally designed and built; and became operational in the 1990s. HST was deployed into a low-Earth orbit on April 25, 1990 from the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31). The design of the HST took into consideration its length of service and the necessity of repairs and equipment replacement by making the body modular. In doing so, subsequent shuttle missions could recover the HST, replace faulty or obsolete parts and be re-released. Pictured is MSFC's Neutral Buoyancy Simulator which served as the test center for shuttle astronauts training for Hubble related missions. Shown is an astronaut training on a mock-up of a modular section of the HST in removal/replacement of scientific instruments.