A space telescope or space observatory is an instrument located in outer space to observe distant planets, galaxies, and other astronomical objects. Space telescopes avoid many of the problems of ground-based observatories, such as light pollution and distortion of electromagnetic radiation (scintillation). In addition, ultraviolet frequencies, X-rays, and gamma rays are blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere, so they can only be observed from space.
Thanks to Futurism we have an idea of how space telescopes of the future may look like.
Here is a detailed infographic about space telescopes
I hope this infographic by Futurism.com will be useful in understanding how space telescopes work.