The Hubble Space Telescope will now be sold for a record-breaking $10 billion, marking the biggest sale in the history of the space agency.
The deal was announced Thursday by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Space Council.
The Hubble telescope will go to private owner Skybox Imaging, which will use it to look for planets and other celestial objects.
The telescope, which was built by the Air Force, will go on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., starting in October.
“This historic sale is historic, and will serve as a reminder of the importance of the Hubble mission,” Jim Bridenstine, the president and chief executive officer of the Smithsonian, said in a statement.
“The Hubble telescope was built in a world of extraordinary challenges.
Its success has given us a unique and rare view of the universe.
It has been a catalyst for scientific discoveries that have changed the world and will continue to change the world for years to come.”
In 2017, Hubble was the first telescope to see a pulsar, a subatomic particle produced by a star that emits a gamma ray burst.
The discovery led to the formation of the International Astronomical Union’s Red Team, an international team of astronomers who work to confirm the existence of dark matter.
“When we first looked at this object, it was a total surprise,” Bridenstreine said in the statement.
The sale was announced a day after the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a study finding that the Hubble telescope is vulnerable to solar storms.
The study also found that if the telescope were to fail, it could damage its optics and the observatory could be “in a state of constant failure.”
The telescope was designed in the 1960s to take images of the early universe and was meant to be a permanent home for a collection of objects.
It was designed to stay operational for 30 years.
NASA has not said when the telescope will be replaced, but it will likely take several years to repair the damage caused by the solar storms it has seen so far.
The museum is in the process of buying other observatories that are not used by NASA.
The $1 billion sale was made by private investor Skybox Image, which bought the telescope in February 2017 for $9.4 billion.
The agreement between Skybox and the Smithsonian will see the telescope continue to be used by the public.
The Smithsonian and Skybox have agreed to purchase an additional 1.6-meter telescope, according to the announcement.
“It is a great day for astronomy, and for the world,” Brina said.
“And, hopefully, the future of the telescope is bright.”
The Hubble Telescope will be renamed the Wide Field Camera 3, or WFC3, after the new telescope’s predecessor.
The original Hubble telescope’s image is a mosaic of the sky taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Photometer (WFPM) on July 13, 2010.
The WFC, or Wide Field Planetary Camera, is a NASA spacecraft that is the primary source of images for the Hubble Space telescope.
The telescopes images are used to detect the presence of alien planets and the early galaxies that they could support.
NASA launched the WFC in 2005.
The Webb Space Telescope, also known as WFIRST, is the largest, most powerful telescope in the world.
It will be a successor to Hubble.
The NASA mission, which has a budget of $1.6 billion, is designed to help detect and study exoplanets, the planets and their atmospheres that are thought to be orbiting other stars.
The two telescopes will be used for the search for other planets that could host alien life.
The new Hubble telescope has a lifetime of about 10 million hours and has an array of about 1,500 instruments.
It is designed for about 30 years of use.
The first launch of a new telescope was in 2006.
The second launch of the new Hubble was in February 2019.