Hubble’s advanced camera is back working again but the rest of the 30-year old space telescope is still in safe mode more than two weeks after it malfunctioned 

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  • Coming back online more than two weeks after the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode
  • The telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveying instrument resumed operations on 7 November and is observing space
  • Hubble experienced an error code that was issued on 23 October and another on 25 October
  • In June, Hubble stopped working after experiencing problems with a 1980s computer that controls its science instruments
  • Hubble, which launched 31 years ago, will be replaced by the James Webb telescope when it launches in December

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The Hubble Space Telescope is still largely in safe mode more than two weeks after experiencing problems for the first time, but parts of the 30-year-old space legend are starting to come back online.

NASA said Monday that the telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instrument is operational.

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The ACS instrument resumed operations on 7 November and has been conducting science observations of space since then.

The ACS was the first tool to be recovered because it is least affected by lost messages, NASA explained.

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Coming back online more than two weeks after the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode

The U.S.’s other science instruments are still in safe mode as the US space agency attempts to figure out what caused the ‘lost synchronization messages’ on 23 October.

“Over the past week, the mission team has continued to investigate the root cause of the synchronization issues and has not observed any additional problems,” NASA said in a statement. Statement,

‘The team will continue to look for possible short-term solutions this week and develop estimates for implementation. Once that happens, the team will discuss bringing the other instruments back to operational condition and resuming their science observations.

The telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveying instrument resumed operations on 7 November and is observing space

The telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveying instrument resumed operations on 7 November and is observing space

The ACS is one of Hubble’s oldest components, having been installed in a 2002 servicing mission.

According to NASA, it is responsible for mapping ‘large areas of the sky’ in great detail.

‘ACS’ can also perform spectroscopy with a special optical instrument called a “Grism,” NASA said in a statement. description Of the instrument

Last week, the US space agency said that during the weekend of October 30, it was turning on parts of the Near Infrared Camera and Multi Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) instrument to look for ‘potential solutions’ to detect Hubble’s loss. Started. Specific data synchronization messages.

First installed in 1997, NICMOS has been dormant since 2010, when Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) became operational.

“NICMOS allowed the team to use an instrument to collect information about these lost messages, while keeping the active equipment off as a safety precaution,” NASA said.

‘Since NICMOS was recovered on 1 November, no additional synchronization messages have been lost.’

Members of the Hubble mission are analyzing the circuitry of the control unit, which generates synchronization messages and sends them to many of Hubble’s instruments. The aging satellite was first launched in 1990.

Possible workarounds include changes to the instrument flight software that can look for lost messages and compensate so that the telescope does not have to return to safe mode.

To do this, mission members must test it on a ground simulator to make sure the idea works as planned.

Earlier this month, the agency provided more clarity on the malfunction.

The error codes on Hubble’s science instruments were issued on October 23 at 1:46 a.m. EDT, ‘indicating the loss of a specific synchronization message.’

Engineers working on Hubble reset the instruments and science operations were resumed the next morning.

Hubble experienced an error code that was issued on 23 October and another on 25 October

Hubble experienced an error code that was issued on 23 October and another on 25 October

However, a second set of error codes were issued on October 25 at 2:38AM EDT, again indicating the loss of a specific synchronization message.

Thereafter, the device went into safe mode.

When Hubble is in safe mode, it doesn’t observe any celestial objects or collect data, but it still operates.

Hubble, which has been in space for more than 30 years, first stopped working in June, when it ran into problems with the 1980s computer that controls its science instruments.

On June 14, flight controllers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland tried to restart the computer when they noticed it stopped working on June 13, but they ran into the same problem and Could not operate it normally.

In June, Hubble stopped working after a problem with a 1980s computer that controls its science instruments

In June, Hubble stopped working after a problem with a 1980s computer that controls its science instruments

Science operations on Hubble resumed on July 17, a month after it was halted due to a technical fault.

The agency successfully conducted a ‘very risky’ maneuver to turn Hubble into its backup computer.

The switch was ‘to compensate for a problem with the original payload computer that occurred on June 13 when the computer stalled, suspending science data collection.’

The switch, which debuted on July 15, included bringing the backup power control unit (PCU) online as well as the science instrument and the backup command unit/science data formatter (CU/SDF) on the other side of command and data handling. (SI C & DH) unit.

The PCU brings power to the SI C & DH components, while the CU/SDF sends and formats commands and data.

Other pieces of hardware on Hubble also switched to alternate interfaces to connect to the backup SI C&DH, NASA said.

The backup payload computer was then turned on, loaded with software and in normal operating mode.

Prior to commissioning in July, the backup payload computer had not been turned on as it was installed during Hubble’s final servicing mission in 2009.

Hubble, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and Canada…

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