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 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 it finally 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. MSFC's Neutral Buoyancy Simulator served as the training facility for shuttle astronauts for Hubble related missions. Shown is astronaut Sharnon Lucid having her life support system being checked prior to entering the NBS to begin training on the space telescope axial scientific instrument changeout.