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, the HST was finally designed and built becoming operational in the 1990s. The 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 (NBS) that served as the test center for shuttle astronauts training for Hubble related missions. Shown are astronauts Bruce McCandless and Sharnon Lucid being fitted for their space suits prior to entering the NBS to begin training on the space telescope axial scientific instrument changeout.