The Hubble Space Telescope team brings back powerful camera instrument after problem

The Hubble Space Telescope team brings back powerful camera instrument after problem

Hubble Team gives back the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS)

The Hubble Space Telescope is still recovering from its most recent problem. The famous space observatory encountered a difficulty with internal message synchronisation in late October, forcing all five of its principal scientific equipment into a protective “safe mode.”

On Nov. 7, Hubble team members were able to reactivate one instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). And, according to NASA officials, they just had another success, recovering the observatory’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on Sunday (Nov. 21). (Nov. 22). The WFC3 is set to commence science observations on Tuesday (November 23), according to agency officials.

The Hubble crew was able to recover the ACS and WFC3 wit little adjustments to their parameters. Engineers have been inventing and testing various adjustments as they seek to restore the instruments while also looking into the core source of the synchronisation problem.

“These advancements will enable the instruments to manage numerous missed synchronisation communications while normally continuing to work,” NASA officials said.

“These modifications will be implemented first to another instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, in order to better preserve its sensitive far-ultraviolet detector,” they noted. “The testing and uploading of the alterations to the spacecraft will take many weeks for the team.”

About Wide Field Camera-3

According to NASA officials, the WFC3 is Hubble’s most heavily used sensor, accounting for more than a third of the spacecraft’s viewing time. In 2009, spacewalking astronauts deployed the WFC3 during the last of five Hubble servicing flights.

The telescope, which was launched into Earth orbit in April 1990, was repaired, maintained, and upgraded over these trips. Such focus explains why Hubble has been so active and prolific for almost 30 years.

Nonetheless, the scope has recently began to exhibit signs of its advanced age. This summer, for example, the entire observatory fell offline for more than a month due to a problem with its primary payload computer. By swapping to backup hardware, the Hubble crew was able to solve the problem.

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