technology

NASA set to try and resolve Hubble’s payload computer glitch

NASA set to try and resolve Hubble’s payload computer glitch
NASA set to try and resolve Hubble’s payload computer glitch

NASA is reportedly set to attempt and resolve a technical issue that has plagued the Hubble telescope and stopped it from being utilized for astronomy. The issue is the most serious glitch the venerated observatory has had in years. On the 13th of June, an onboard computer failed, putting the science equipment into safe mode, which disables all non-essential functions.

According to reports, the source of the problem has now been traced back to a control device that feeds electricity to the malfunctioning computer. Now, ground controllers would begin switching to a backup hardware in a bid to bring one of history's most significant scientific instrument back online.

Despite the fact that astronomy observations have been halted since June, NASA claims that the telescope and research instruments are in good working order.

Officials stated that a Power Control Unit (PCU) is to blame for the problem. This PCU ensures that the onboard computer's hardware receives a constant power supply. The diagnosis about the PCU was derived from information obtained when engineers tried to reconfigure and restart the onboard and backup computers.

Experts have already attempted to reset the PCU from the ground instructions, but this action plan has failed. Now, NASA management team has granted permission for the Hubble recovery crew to switch a backup PCU.

This operation is set to start this week; and assuming that all goes well, it will take a couple of days to fully restore the observatory to perform its regular operations.

Hubble was launched in 1990 on the space shuttle Discovery and has already taken over 1.5 million observations, which have been utilized to publish approximately 18,000 scientific papers so far.

It has helped make some of the most important astronomical discoveries. One of these was the discovery that the universe's expansion was speeding up. As a result, this led to the conclusion that dark energy, a mysterious force, makes up the majority of the cosmos.

Source credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57844454

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