‘Hubble is back!’ Famed space telescope has new lease on life after computer swap appears to fix glitch | Science


The Hubble Space Telescope, seen here throughout its preliminary release in 1990 by the space shuttle bus Discovery, appears to have actually been repaired once again after another near-death experience.

NASA

The renowned however senior Hubble Space Telescope appears to have actually been reanimated once again after a shutdown of more than a month following a computer glitch. Science has discovered that following a switch from the operating payload control computer to a backup gadget over the previous 24 hours, Hubble’s operators have actually re-established interactions with all the telescope’s instruments and strategy to return them to typical operations today.

“Hubble is back!” Tom Brown, head of the Hubble objective workplace, emailed to personnel at the Space Telescope Science Institute at 5:56 a.m. “I am excited to watch Hubble get back to exploring the universe.”

The issues began on 13 June when the payload computer that manages the science instruments and displays their health found a mistake in interactions with the instruments and put them into safe mode. Hubble’s operators at first believed a memory module was at fault however changing to among 3 backup modules produced the exact same mistake. Various other gadgets were examined and eliminated as the issue when the mistake continued.

It was ultimately chosen that the whole Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SIC&DH) system, of which the payload computer is part, must be switched from the presently running instrument to the backup. Staff practiced the treatment with hardware on the ground over the previous week and a complete evaluation was performed to guarantee it might be done without hurting the telescope in other methods. Shortly prior to the switch was begun the other day, NASA revealed it had actually recognized the power control system (PCU), which is part of the SIC&DH, as the source of the issue. The PCU provides a stable voltage supply to the payload computer and it was either providing voltage outside the typical variety or the sensing unit that discovers the voltage was providing an incorrect reading. Because there is an extra PCU as part of the SIC&DH, the switch proceeded.

Brown informed his associates today that “Hubble was successfully recovered into Normal Mode on Side A of the [SIC&DH]. This marked the first time we were able to progress beyond the problem we were seeing on Side B.” He stated that if all continues typically, Hubble will reboot science observations this weekend.

Astronomer Richard Ellis of University College London, who was talking with Science when the news was available in, states: “You have to tell everyone how nervous we all were!” The telescope, he states, has constantly been “a truly global facility. Everyone is a friend of Hubble. It’s unique.”

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