The STIS was installed on Hubble in 1997 during its second servicing mission (STS-82) by Mark Lee and Steven Smith, replacing the High Resolution Spectrograph and the Faint Object Spectrograph. It was designed to operate for five years. On August 3, 2004 an electronic failure rendered STIS inoperable, ending its use 2 years beyond its predicted lifespan. In order to bring it back to operational status, the instrument was repaired by space shuttle astronauts during STS-125, Servicing Mission 4, launched on May 11, 2009.
The STIS has three 1024×1024 detector arrays. The first is a charge-coupled device with a 52×52 arc-second field of view, covering the visible and near-infrared spectrum from 200 nm to 1030 nm. The other two detectors are Multi-Anode Multichannel Arrays, each with a 25×25 arc-second field of view. One is Cs2Te, and covers the near-UV between 160 nm and 310 nm. The other is CsI and covers the far-UV between 115 nm and 170 nm.