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Hubble Wobbles into Trouble

Posted by edro on October 20, 2008

Hubble, Hubble, Double Trouble!

A team of NASA engineers and scientists, who have now suspended the reactivation of the orbiting observatory after experiencing a new malfunction,  had been trying to remotely boot up the space telescope’s back-up computer system after its primary data formatter, which sends data to Earth, failed in September.  Photo:  NASA/ESA

The Trouble with Hubble

Hubble’s Control Unit/Science Data Formatter (CU/SDF) failed last month and stopped transmitting data back to Earth.

NASA remotely booted up the space telescope’s back-up data system last week trying to have Hubble back in full science mode. Although the instrument reconfiguration “proceeded nominally,” NASA reported, they were unable to reactivate the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) because “an anomaly occurred during the last steps of the commanding to the Advanced Camera for Surveys”.

NASA has now suspended the reactivation of the Hubble space telescope as a team of about 50 engineers and scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland investigate the “anomalies” found with its back-up computer system.

Among Hubble’s achievements:

Cat’s Eye Nebula, NGC 6543

Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun’s mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible.  Credit:
NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Hubble Ultra Deep Field, HUDF

This view of nearly 10,000 galaxies is the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, this galaxy-studded view represents a “deep” core sample of the universe, cutting across billions of light-years. The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between Sept. 24, 2003 and Jan. 16, 2004. Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team.

2 Responses to “Hubble Wobbles into Trouble”

  1. […] Comments Blame it on PLUTO! […]

  2. […] Hubble Wobbles into Trouble […]

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