Hubble is back online after a risky maneuver involving swapping the telescope’s payload computer for the backup one. This appears to have fixed the problem that has kept it in safe mode for weeks, explains a NASA statement.
On Thursday, July 15, NASA announced that it had initiated the “risky” switch procedure to replace the spacecraft’s hardware at Hubble as part of its efforts. to resolve an issue that had started on June 13. The process was tricky, since the “backup” computer had not been turned on since it was installed 32 years ago …
The backup machine is already on, “loaded with flight software and put into normal operations mode.”
“The Hubble team is now monitoring the hardware to make sure everything is working properly,” NASA said in its statement. “They have also started the process to bring science instruments back out of their safe mode settings.”
For 31 years, astronomers and scientists around the world have highlighted more than 30 years of discoveries and observations made by the telescope, which was launched in 1990. During those three decades, more than 1.5 million observations have resulted in the publication of more than 18,000 scientific articles on topics ranging from dark energy to black holes and gamma ray bursts.
This is not the first time that Hubble has been walking a tightrope. He has faced several near-death moments in recent years and is inevitably nearing the end of his lifespan. Still, unsurprisingly, the Hubble Mission Operations staff are delighted to be operational again.
Despite some technical bumps along the way, like a failure in your primary mirror that was repaired in 1993, Hubble has consistently captured some of the most impressive views of the cosmos ever seen. And we hope it continues to do so for many years to come.
Long live Hubble!