NASA was under tremendous pressure. The first servicing mission (the word “repair” was frowned upon) in 1993 had to be a success, or the future of the entire agency would be in doubt — other than Hubble, it had precious little to show for these years. While Hubble worked on its reduced observing program, valiant efforts continued to correct the problem. Sophisticated mathematical methods of image reconstruction and analysis eliminated the most obvious defects, but attempts to measure the exact brightness of very faint stars above an even fainter background failed. This meant that the planned observation of pulsating stars in other galaxies — one of the key projects of the Hubble Space Telescope (and, much earlier, of its namesake, Edwin P. Hubble) — had to be postponed. Determining a more precise distance scale for the universe would have to wait.
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