Hubble is getting better

Hubble is getting better

Hubble is getting better

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 23 2008 1:58 PM

Hubble is getting better

NASA HQ has approved taking the next step on getting Hubble back up to speed. Engineers are trying to get a backup system started to take over for a system that failed earlier. What failed was the hardware that controls the science instruments, so without this Hubble is seriously crippled. However, when trying to get everything back online, there were a couple of problems that made engineers suspend the repair.

First, the Advanced Camera for Surveys suspended when a software test violated a safety protocol. There was no actual safety issue, though! Basically, the software had been changed to support the upcoming servicing mission, and the test wound up stepping on some of the new code. This issue has been resolved.

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Second, the entire science payload suspended due to "an electrical event", which tripped the hardware reset. This too was not a big deal, but the hardware is programmed to shut down in such an event so humans can take a look and see what happened. This too has been resolved.

So the good news is, while a few days were lost, engineers are ready to get Hubble back on its feet, so to speak. They're hoping to have it up and running by this weekend!

Hopefully we'll know more by tomorrow or Saturday. I'll post more when I find out.