NASA has good news about the Hubble Space Telescope

0
43
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched and is operated in collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency. A hardware issue rendered the telescope inoperable in June, and attempts to restore it have been underway since. Credit: Nasa / Esa
- Advertisement -

Things are looking up for everyone’s favorite orbital telescope.

On June 13, the Hubble Space Telescope’s on-board computer (aka payload computer) suddenly stopped working. After evaluating the situation from afar, NASA decided to move operations to a backup computer. After weeks of evaluations and tests, NASA successfully turned on the backup hardware, the agency announced Friday. That means Hubble could be operational again soon.

All of Hubble’s hardware entered a safe mode, so nothing has been damaged. The telescope has been capturing stunning images from deep space for the last 31 years.

- Advertisement -

NASA said this is just the start of getting Hubble totally back online. It will take at least a day to bring the telescope’s science instruments out of safe mode, and some additional calibration to get them fully working again.

While NASA hasn’t provided any estimates on how likely it is that the telescope will resume normal operations, the update on Friday is promising.

The initial issue was caused by the Power Control Unit, which ensures a steady supply of power to the payload computer, NASA revealed Wednesday. It’s likely that the supply isn’t steady enough or the hardware that measures the voltage has degraded. Either scenario is capable of sending the whole system into a dormant safe mode.

Both the main computer and the backup computer were installed in 2009, along with the Wide Field Camera 3 that has provided Earthlings the most detailed images of space ever seen. The backup computer had not been used in those 12 years until now.

Keep your fingers crossed for the Hubble Space Telescope, but rest assured knowing that if the full restoration fails, the even-more-powerful James Webb Space Telescope is expected to launch into orbit in late 2021.

- Advertisement -
SOURCEMashable
Previous articleMalaysia’s Measat-3 satellite tumbling in GEO
Next articleSES spearheading quantum technology encryption network for Luxembourg

Comments