Hubble Space Telescope sidelined by issue with its 1980s computer

On Sunday, the telescopes primary computer system stopped getting signals from the payload computer system and sent an error message to the ground system back on Earth, which notified the operations team that something was incorrect, the group stated..

The Hubble Space Telescope, which in 2020 marked its 30th year in orbit, halted operations on Sunday (June 13) just after 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) after problems emerged with one of the telescopes computer systems from the 1980s. The group is tough at work attempting to correct the concern, switching to one of the telescopes several backup modules.
The computer system that stopped working on Sunday is a payload computer system that manages the observatorys science instruments as part of the telescopes Science Instrument Control and Data Handling module.

June 13, 2021, the Hubble Space Telescope shut down after an issue with a 1980s-era payload computer. (Image credit: NASA) NASA is working quickly to repair the Hubble Space Telescope after an issue with a 1980s-era computer system on board triggered the well-known orbiting observatory to briefly shut down.

After the telescope closed down on Sunday, Hubbles primary computer then instantly put all of its instruments into safe mode and, on Monday (June 14), staff member at NASA Goddard rebooted the payload computer system that triggered the shutdown. After the restart, the computer ran into the same problems that caused the initial shutdown.
The operations team is “currently in the process of switching memory modules onboard the spacecraft,” the group stated. When this procedure is complete and the craft has actually been completely evaluated, it will resume normal operations..
This is not the very first time that Hubble has run into problems that required fixing. Early in the telescopes life time, researchers discovered an error with the observatorys pointing-control system and concerns with the shape of its main mirror..
The very first servicing mission was released to deal with the telescope in 1993, and missions to Hubble continued to launch throughout NASAs area shuttle program. On these missions, astronauts dealt with many issues, including changing batteries and the gyroscopes that enabled Hubble to point steadily at far-away areas in the cosmos..
Hubble has actually overcome issues more just recently as well. This previous March, for instance, the telescope entered into a protective “safe mode” after suffering an evident software glitch but got better a couple of days later.
Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

The Hubble Space Telescope, which in 2020 marked its 30th year in orbit, stopped operations on Sunday (June 13) simply after 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) after issues occurred with among the telescopes computers from the 1980s. The Hubble operations group presumes that the problem might be due to a degrading memory module, according to a NASA declaration. The team is hard at work attempting to correct the problem, switching to among the telescopes a number of backup modules.
” Assuming that this issue is fixed via among the many options readily available to the operations group, Hubble is expected to continue yielding fantastic discoveries into the late 2020s or beyond,” the operations group at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland informed Space.com in an email. “there is no definitive timeline yet as to when this will be completed, tested and brought back to operational status,” they included..
Related: The finest Hubble Space Telescope images of all time! More: The Hubble Space Telescope and 30 years that transformed our view of deep space.

June 13, 2021, the Hubble Space Telescope closed down after a concern with a 1980s-era payload computer system. Staff member continue to deal with the problem to get the telescope operational as soon as again. (Image credit: NASA) NASA is working quickly to repair the Hubble Space Telescope after a problem with a 1980s-era computer system on board triggered the well-known orbiting observatory to temporarily close down.

” Analysis suggests the error is likely due to a degraded memory issue. Memory can degrade with time due to years of direct exposure to radiation in space. Issues like this are expected, which is why there are backup memory modules on the spacecraft,” they added..
The computer that quit working on Sunday is a payload computer system that manages the observatorys science instruments as part of the telescopes Science Instrument Control and Data Handling module. The module was last changed during the last astronaut maintenance objective to the observatory in 2009. The payload computer is a NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer-1 (NSSC-1) system that was integrated in the 1980s..
” The payload computer system is from the 1980s, which is when Hubble was developed and built. Like all spacecraft hardware, the severe environment of area can take its toll on electronics. That is why there are backup memory modules and a backup payload computer onboard the spacecraft that we can switch to if required,” the operations employee composed in the e-mail..