Engineers are nonetheless troubleshooting a glitch with the Hubble House Telescope’s payload pc that put the observatory in “protected mode,” a kind of digital hibernation, till the issue is resolved.
The shutdown occurred simply after 20:00 GMT on 13 June when the pc, which controls and coordinates observations by Hubble’s science devices, stopped sending routine “keep-alive” alerts to the telescope’s major pc. That, in flip, activated software program that mechanically halted instrument operations, shutting down science observations.
Engineers initially suspected issues with one in every of 4 64K solid-state reminiscence modules utilized by the pc. However an try to change to an alternate module was not profitable, prompting one other spherical of troubleshooting.
The payload pc is named a “NASA Commonplace Spacecraft Laptop-1, or NSSC-1, constructed within the Nineteen Eighties and a part of the telescope’s Science Instrument Command and Knowledge Dealing with unit. The pc is absolutely redundant, with two unbiased “strings,” both of which may deal with all payload features. Whichever string is working makes use of one reminiscence module with the opposite three on standby as backups.
As of 18 June, engineers have been nonetheless gathering diagnostic knowledge and had not but resorted to making an attempt a change over to the alternate pc string.
“The operations staff shall be operating assessments and gathering extra data on the system to additional isolate the issue,” NASA mentioned in an announcement. “The science devices will stay in a protected mode state till the difficulty is resolved. The telescope itself and science devices stay in good well being.”