A Glitch Has Knocked the Hubble Space Telescope Offline–for Now

Cortez Deacetis

It turns out it really is challenging to troubleshoot a 1980s laptop that is dashing all-around Earth hundreds of miles around our heads.

NASA has used much more than a 7 days analyzing a laptop difficulty that put the venerable Hubble Area Telescope out of commission on June 13 and that may possibly force the spacecraft to turn to its backup pc. Now, ongoing checks advise that the problem the crew has identified so significantly may not be at the root of the computer’s challenges, according to an update from the agency.

“After doing tests on various of the computer’s memory modules, the benefits reveal that a distinctive piece of pc components might have brought about the problem, with the memory faults currently being only a symptom,” NASA officers wrote in a assertion published Tuesday (June 22).

Although the preliminary anomaly proposed that a memory module was degrading, the staff now suspects that the root of the issue might be in the computer’s central processing module or that unit’s relationship with interface hardware.

Appropriate now, the statement extra, the group is creating tests to extra confidently determine the dilemma those people checks “will be run in the up coming couple days.”

The NASA assertion suggests that the workforce hasn’t but specified up hope of reviving the main payload computer system, but does lay out the plan for if that feat are unable to be completed. The telescope carries a backup laptop that, like the most important unit, was set up in 2009 throughout the final astronaut servicing mission but has not been made use of considering the fact that.

“The backup pc has not been run on given that its set up in 2009 on the other hand, it was carefully analyzed on the floor prior to set up on the spacecraft,” NASA officials wrote in the assertion.

If the team is forced to change to the backup unit, Hubble would swap to that unit’s central processing module and interface hardware. Switching desktops would not influence accessibility to the 4 memory modules on the spacecraft, NASA observed.

Astronauts deployed the Hubble Room Telescope from the place shuttle Discovery on April 25, 1990 5 crews of astronauts later visited the spacecraft in orbit to maintenance and improve the technologies and instruments on board. Having said that, NASA can no lengthier send this sort of missions to take care of the telescope, given that they relied on the agency’s fleet of area shuttles, which retired in 2011.


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