Astronomy

Hubble Telescope Shuts Down And Is Fighting For Survival

As claimed by NASA, the Hubble telescope has faced serious problems in its computer, bringing all astronomical activities to a halt. Since Sunday, the orbital observatory remained inactive, after a computer that controls all science instruments shut down automatically. The potential cause of shutting is a faulty memory board, and this computer is from the 1980s.

The Hubble telescope which was launched in 1990 has vastly contributed to help us understand the universe better. The aging telescope faced some major and minor failures previously, and this was its last string.

hubble telescope shuts down

On Sunday, flight controllers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland acted on restarting the telescope. However, following the restarting attempts on Monday, Hubble shut down again. At the moment, the NASA team is doing its best to switch Hubble’s computer to a backup memory board. If this can be successfully done, NASA is planning to examine the orbital observatory for a full day. After that, they will try to bring the science instruments back to life. This will allow the observations to continue as usual.

The Hubble Computer With Issues Was Last Serviced In 2009

At present, all the cameras and other instruments of Hubble are in safe mode. Many spacewalking astronauts were sent up on space shuttles to perform software updates and repairs on Hubble computers. Despite all of such attempts, this failure is another proof of the aging position of Hubble, in the principle of great astronomical observatories. The Hubble computer that shut down was serviced for the fifth and last time in 2009.

Although Hubble is experiencing major setbacks at the moment, another world-historical telescope will soon begin its operations. The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched from French Guiana, by Europe’s Ariane rocket. However, the successor to Hubble is falling years and years behind schedule. Not only that, but this will operate from a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. Therefore, astronauts won’t be able to perform routine maintenance.

Scientists want the Hubble telescope to overlap with the initial weeks to years of its upcoming successor. Although the Hubble is too old for this, NASA scientists and the flight controller team will do their best to realize this dream.

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