Mon. Dec 6th, 2021


NASA is fighting again Turn on the Hubble Space Telescope. Wired Report The Hubble team is slowly reviving its telescope after multiple instrument sync failures that prompted it to switch to “Safe Mode” in late October. Engineers have reactivated advanced cameras for surveys on November 7, but will need to verify the device’s output this week before enabling any other affected components.

The problems began on October 23, when NASA noticed that the devices were not receiving sync messages from Hubble’s control unit. These communication problems persisted for two days, prompting an emergency shutdown. The space agency cannot quickly revive the Hubble – rapid energy and temperature changes risk shortening the telescope’s lifespan.

The failure is the second to prompt an extended shutdown in 2021 (the June payload error prompted NASA to call a month-long “coma” in July), and this is on top of the previous issue. NASA was Hubble’s gyroscope restarts In 2018, for example. Mounting problems suggest the 31-year-old observer is running out of time, and no space shuttle is available if hardware replacement is required.

Astronomers cannot be too worried. The James Webb Space Telescope Due to launch on December 18th and it could serve as Hubble’s spiritual successor, even if it does not focus on the same wavelength. Hubble is also contributing Significant discovery These days. In that sense, Hubble is effectively signaling that it is ready to pass the torch.

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