Hubble Space Telescope is Terribly Sick…

Hubble Space TelescopeHubble Space Telescope, the scope that had brought us tons and tons of beautiful pictures of the universe, has encountered a major failure and was unable to send any data back to Earth…

The failure of the “Side A” control system forced to shut down Hubble’s science operations and currently Hubble is in safe mode. The spacecraft is basically still operational but just that it is unable to operate the instruments.

We are still not totally out of hope though, because there is a backup system known as “Side B”. But the problem is all this while we have been using only Side A; and Side B has never been operated since the launch of Hubble 18+ years ago.

So the plan as of now is to transfer science operations to Side B by later this week. This is going to be a significant operation because it requires that five other modules used in managing data also be switched to their B-side systems. Hopefully everything will be fine.

Actually, there is going to be a servicing mission to Hubble middle of next month to extend its operational life, to install new instruments and to replace some old one. Now, NASA is thinking whether a replacement control system – to act as spare – will be required to launch with the current servicing mission. If that is the case, then the mission will be delayed until the replacement part has been tested and sent to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and also the time required to trained the astronauts to install them.

So now what we can do is just wait. If Side B managed to come online, then Hubble can continue its work. If it fails, then we’ll have a non-working observatory up there until the next servicing mission, which may be at least three months before it can be launched.

However, to look at the bright side, at least this happens before the servicing mission…

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~ by thChieh on September 30, 2008.

2 Responses to “Hubble Space Telescope is Terribly Sick…”

  1. […] Hubble may be having problem now, but no matter what happens to it eventually (nothing last forever, anyway), the tons of science and images of the universe that it has brought for us will be treasured forever. […]

  2. […] News! Hubble is Back! Four weeks ago, the Hubble Space Telescope encountered a major failure and was unable to send any data back to Earth… The failure of the “Side A” […]

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