Hubble Science Instruments are Malfunctioning, Putting the Telescope in Safe Mode – Universe Today

Hubble is getting a bit lengthy in the tooth. Initially launched in 1990, it has been one in all the most spectacularly profitable orbital satellites in historical past.  But it has additionally had its justifiable share of errors, beginning nearly instantly upon its launch.  Now the devices on the telescope have been working in a “safe mode” for greater than per week, and it seems that they are going to stay so for no less than one other one.

NASA, the company that operates Hubble, first introduced that the devices had entered secure mode by way of a tweet from the official Hubble account on October 25th.  The underlying trigger seems to be a “synchronization error” that meant the devices couldn’t sync as much as gather information correctly.  It additionally meant that the devices “remain in good health.”

Hubble is chargeable for a few of the most dramatic footage in all of astronomy, corresponding to the eXtreme Deep Field mentioned in this video.
After suspending scientific operations for per week, the company issued a press launch offering extra context to the subject and a possible timeline for decision.  At 1:45 AM EDT on October 23rd, the telescope skilled a synchronization error.  NASA engineers know effectively the first rule of troubleshooting electronics, so that they rebooted the devices, and the drawback appeared to vanish.
Until it appeared once more two days afterward October 25th at 2:38 AM EDT.  While a reboot would possibly once more repair the error messages, it’s higher to seek for and resolve the underlying drawback when the identical error crops up twice in fast succession.  That is precisely what the NASA engineers are doing. The company estimates that it’s going to take one other week of troubleshooting to discover a potential repair to no matter could be inflicting the synchronization points.
STS61 was the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA
This is yet one more string of points with NASA’s most well-known telescope simply this yr.  A botched software program replace took it down for just a few days in March, whereas a malfunctioning laptop required operators to change to a backup copy, inflicting 5 weeks of downtime again in June-July of this yr.
Scientists are nonetheless optimistic for Hubble’s future, although.  There are plans to proceed its operation as one in all NASA’s flagship telescopes till the 2030s.  Increasing numbers of upkeep points would possibly put a dent in these plans, however with luck, Hubble will nonetheless be producing breathtaking photographs for an additional decade or so.
Learn More:NASA – Hubble Instruments Remain in Safe Mode, NASA Team InvestigatingSpaceNews – Hubble stays in secure mode after newest glitchSciTechDaily – Glitches Send Hubble Space Telescope Into Safe Mode – NASA Team InvestigatingUT – No News Here, Just a Beautiful Globular Cluster Captured by Hubble. That is all.
Lead Image:Hubble floating in open area.Credit – NASA
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