Work continues to restore payload computer on NASA's Hubble Telescope

NASA said that the Hubble telescope itself and science instruments remain in good health.


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 19-06-2021 23:37 IST | Created: 19-06-2021 17:36 IST
Work continues to restore payload computer on NASA's Hubble Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA's longest-living and most valuable space-based observatories, was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-31) on April 24, 1990. Image Credit: Twitter (@NASA)
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NASA team is working to resolve an issue with the payload computer on the Hubble Space Telescope which halted last week on June 13. An attempt to restart the computer failed on June 14, with initial indications pointing to a degrading computer memory module as the source of halt, the U.S. space agency said on Friday.

According to NASA, attempts to switch to one of several backup memory modules were also made, but those attempts were not successful.

"When the operations team attempted to switch to a back-up memory module, however, the command to initiate the backup module failed to complete. Another attempt was conducted on both modules Thursday evening to obtain more diagnostic information while again trying to bring those memory modules online. However, those attempts were not successful," NASA said.

The operations team will now be running tests and collecting more information on the system to further isolate the problem.

Built in the 1980s, the payload computer is part of the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling module and its purpose is to control and coordinate the science instruments and monitor them for health and safety purposes. The module has various levels of redundancy which can be switched on to serve as the primary system when necessary.

The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA's longest-living and most valuable space-based observatories, was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-31) on April 24, 1990. In its over 30 years of operation, Hubble has made more than 1.4 million observations and contributed greatly to our understanding of the universe.

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