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Unique Photos Of NASA's Unique Tools

The Hubble Space Telescope, first launched in 1990, needs a tune-up. So the space shuttle Atlantis launched today on a mission to service Hubble for the last time. To perform this maintenance job, the astronauts are bringing nearly 180 special tools — 116 of which were designed just for this mission. Learn more about these special tools here.

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Michael Soluri was originally hired by Discover magazine to photograph these one-of-a-kind tools. The result: unexpectedly beautiful still lifes. Because he was documenting rare objects, he wanted to use rare film. With a Hasselblad camera and retired Kodak film, he set up a dazzling portrait studio to give these tools the effect of floating in white space.

Hubble has been responsible for some of the most stunning photographs of the cosmos. Without this mission, these astronauts and these tools, Hubble couldn't continue to do its job. It's a big day, and Soluri has effectively captured the beauty of this task. Learn more about the mission on NASA's site. And check out NPR's story.

Also worth checking out:
Story: Astronauts To Give Hubble One Last Hug
Multimedia: Scientists discuss their favorite Hubble images
More NASA photos

By Claire O'Neill

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