NASA announces that it has returned the telescope to service!

On June 13, NASA discovered Technical Incident on the Hubble Space Telescope. After some research, it turned out to be a failure It came from the payload computer. For more than a month, engineers have been running tests to determine the source of the problem. On Thursday, July 15, NASA revealed that a power control unit (PCU), more precisely a voltage delivered by the PCU (or detection of this voltage), was involved. Yesterday, engineers announced that the problem had finally been resolved and that Hubble would be able to resume observations.

After switching from the payload control computer to the backup instrument within the past 24 hours, the Hubble operators re-established communications with all instruments in the telescope and returned them to normal operation yesterday. ” Hubble is back! The chief of the Hubble mission office, Tom Brown, said in an email to the Hubble mission team. Space Telescope Science Institute It’s 5:56 a.m. on Friday, July 16. ” I am glad to see Hubble return to the exploration of the universe ».

The problems started on June 13th when the computer that controls the scientific devices and monitors their health detected an error connecting to the devices and put them in safe mode. Hubble operators initially thought there was a memory module involved, but switching to one of the three spare modules resulted in the same error. Several other devices were investigated and ruled out as a problem when the error persists.

Change the power control unit (PCU)

It was eventually decided that the entire SIC & DH module, of which the payload computer is a part, should be converted from the current driver tool. to the backup tool. Staff performed the procedure with equipment on the ground over the past week and a full check was done to ensure it could be done without damaging the telescope in any other way.

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Image of the Hubble payload computer, showing several of its components, including the PCU. By switching from the primary PCU to the spare PCU, engineers were able to reconnect to the telescope’s instruments. © NASA

Shortly before the change began yesterday, NASA announced that it had identified the Power Control Unit (PCU), part of SIC & DH, as the source of the problem. The PCU supplies a constant voltage to the net computer and it supplies a voltage outside the normal range or the sensor that detects the voltage is giving a false reading. Since there is a spare PCU inside the SIC & DH, the change has been made.

Brown told his teammates yesterday: Hubble has been successfully fixed in normal mode on the A side of [SIC&DH]. This was the first time we were able to get past the problem we see on the B side If everything goes as planned, he said, Hubble will resume scientific observations this weekend.

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