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The last major action is to save the Hubble Space Telescope

The last major action is to save the Hubble Space Telescope

In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery published the telescope. Since then, it has been a tremendous help in helping scientists understand the universe. (Image: NASA)

After 1.5 million images, the telescope appears to be lost. He helped researchers in many areas, and now it all depends on a computer in the 80s.

Since June 13, the main computer has not received any feedback from the payload computer, which is responsible for coordinating scientific instruments. The result: the space telescope switched to “safe” mode and thus stopped working. NASA explainsHubble and its instruments continue to operate, but scientific operations are now halted. Various attempts to get the payload computer back on with the backup components failed.

Switch to backup failed

Experts are looking for a new issue and its solution. At first they assumed an old memory module was causing the malfunction. Then the surgical team tried unsuccessfully to switch to one of the three backups. On June 17, she made another attempt to reactivate the payload computer – but without success. The team is now looking for errors in other components. The next step is to switch the power control unit (PCU) and drive unit (CU) to replacement units. This process involves activating more backups of other hardware boxes in order to re-establish connections to the CU after a reset. First, NASA wants to test the procedure on a simulator. In 2008, when the decoder failed, the specialists of the Control Center took this radical step for the last time. The STS-125 maintenance mission followed in 2009, in which astronaut Mike Good replaced the defective component in the payload computer and gave the telescope some upgrades. This fix has not been possible since the end of the Space Shuttles in 2011. Accordingly, the future prospects of the space dinosaur are shaken.

Hubble: Over 1.5 million photos taken in 31 years

The space shuttle Discovery launched the space telescope on April 25, 1990. Since then, about 1.5 million images have been taken, some of them impressive – 600,000 after the planned service life alone. He has achieved some milestones in the process. In 2014, for example, I noticed the farthest object a spacecraft had ever visited: Arrokoth in the Kuiper Belt. From the Hubble recordings, Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is assumed to have a sea of ​​salt water. Hubble also provided information about the expansion of space and the nature of dark matter and the Kuiper belt.

James Webb’s successor telescope launched in November

Five maintenance missions continued between 1993 and 2009 updating components and fixing defects. NASA writes that Payload computers come from the 80s. The second serves as a backup. In addition, the system has different levels of redundancy in order to act as a platform if necessary. The successor to the Hubble probe has been in the building blocks for years. After years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope, built by NASA, ESA and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), finally wants to launch into space with an Ariane 5 rocket in November 2021. It costs about ten billion dollars, and is the most expensive science project in unmanned spaceflight ever. .

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