Hubble is in trouble and NASA is now desperately trying to find a solution. How did this happen?
A few days ago, Hubble’s payload computer just went offline. This device, aka the “brains”, is essential to the telescope’s science operations. so an urgent fix is so much needed right now. How will NASA manage the situation?
Here is what you need to know.
Hubble Under a Stressful Situation
The Hubble Space Telescope needs its main computer to continue its daring space work. The device is necessary to control and coordinate the tools Hubble carries. Also, to check for any issues the telescope could encounter.
What will NASA do?
The space agency is now expected to come with a rapid fix for Hubble, as the telescope’s mission really depends on it.
The engineers from NASA discussed initially that the cause was a degrading memory module. They tried, of course, to restart it, but they failed big time.
Then, on June 16, the Hubble operations team turned their attention to a backup memory module.
Unfortunately, that procedure didn’t help.
NASA released a statement explaining:
“Another attempt was conducted on both modules Thursday evening to obtain more diagnostic information while again trying to bring those memory modules online; […] those attempts were not successful.”
What To Expect
According to NASA engineers, the issue Hubble is currently experiencing is not so unexpected. Considering the telescope’s age and mission, anything could happen.
Back in 1990, Hubble enrolled in what seemed to be one of the most daring space missions ever developed for a space telescope by NASA. At this point, the telescope carries upon its “shoulders” 30 years of hard work and several mission extensions.
The last major issue Hubble encountered was in 2018 when a gyroscope failed. The issue was fixed and the telescope got a space jiggle. However, last year NASA put the telescope into safe mode after a challenging software error.
The recent problem Hubble deals with, it’s not impossible to fix. NASA has put the science tools in a safe mode until it comes up with a better plan. Thing is, there’s a second backup payload computer on Hubble that can help manage the situation.