This drawing illustrates Hubble Space Telescope's (HST's), Faint Object Camera (FOC). The FOC reflects light down one of two optical pathways. The light enters a detector after passing through filters or through devices that can block out light from bright objects. Light from bright objects is blocked out to enable the FOC to see background images. The detector intensifies the image, then records it much like a television camera. For faint objects, images can be built up over long exposure times. The total image is translated into digital data, transmitted to Earth, and then reconstructed. The purpose of the HST, the most complex and sensitive optical telescope ever made, is to study the cosmos from a low-Earth orbit. By placing the telescope in space, astronomers are able to collect data that is free of the Earth's atmosphere. The HST detects objects 25 times fainter than the dimmest objects seen from Earth and provides astronomers with an observable universe 250 times larger than visible from ground-based telescopes, perhaps as far away as 14 billion light-years. The HST views galaxies, stars, planets, comets, possibly other solar systems, and even unusual phenomena such as quasars, with 10 times the clarity of ground-based telescopes. The HST was deployed from the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31 mission) into Earth orbit in April 1990. The Marshall Space Flight Center had responsibility for design, development, and construction of the HST. The Perkin-Elmer Corporation, in Danbury, Cornecticut, developed the optical system and guidance sensors.