Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

NASA is thinking about making some software changes to the Hubble Space Equipment to reactivate the decommissioned telescope. Depending on how weekend troubleshooting goes, engineers may switch on one observatory camera next week.

The recovery team is currently looking at the hardware that controls the instruments, which is included in the Science Instrument Data Handling Unit, according to an update issued by the agency on Friday (November 5). Since its equipment went into a protected, safe mode in late October, the famous space telescope could not conduct science observations.

According to NASA, the crew is explicitly investigating the circuitry of the Control Unit, which creates messages and provides them to the instruments. The agency is updating the instrument flying software to look for data synchronization messages without entering safe mode. According to the agency, the loss of these messages appears to be the cause of the malfunction.

The telescope, which has been in orbit since 1990 and was last serviced by astronauts in 2009, entered safe mode on October 25 due to a fault and is no longer capable of doing observations. In a Tuesday (November 2) report, the agency stated that all instruments are safe as the inquiry continues.

The telescope will not be repaired in person again since the space shuttles that used to fly to the telescope for maintenance were retired in 2011 after 30 years of service. As a result, researchers are working from afar to assist Hubble. NASA said in the statement that workarounds would first be tested using ground simulators to verify they functioned as intended.

The Hubble team will examine control unit design schematics, data from lost communications, and the spectrum of potential instrument software improvements that might address the problem before making any changes to the software.

Hubble team members attempt to collect data from the observatory’s cameras and equipment along with the rescue effort. During the October 30 weekend, the team activated parts of the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer instruments, allowing the team to establish how frequently this data synchronization problem happens, according to NASA. According to the update, NICMOS was recovered on Monday (November 1), and no more data synchronization messages have been lost since then.

Next, Hubble engineers attempt to restore Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument to resume scientific collection at the start of next week. After analyzing the evidence, the agency will make a final judgment on Sunday (November 7). According to NASA, ACS was chosen as the ideal instrument to use initially since it is the least likely to cause stress on the observatory.

The Hubble Space Telescope’s problems have been a reoccurring issue recently. Yet, the telescope cannot be blamed for the defects it has been suffering from lately because it’s been in space for 31 years. Earlier in June 2021, the telescope’s payload computer malfunctioned, sending it into safe mode for nearly a month. However, it is worth noting that the telescope’s components are from a bygone era, having been created in the 1980s.

According to NASA, if a lost communication is discovered before then, activating ACS will be reconsidered. The plan to return instruments to full function is still in the works. According to the agency, the crew continues with caution to safeguard the safety of the equipment and minimize extra strains on the hardware.

By Gaby Lewis

Gabby is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Chess player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world of technology. [email protected]

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