Hubble almost back to full operation after recent instrument recovery

On its road to recovery, NASA has brought one of Hubble's main scientific instruments back online as they work to restore Hubble.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Tue, Nov 23 2021 4:17 AM CST

After recent technical issues that have plagued the Hubble Space Telescope, it nears full operational status following the recovery of its Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

Hubble almost back to full operation after recent instrument recovery 01 | TweakTown.com

In late October 2021, NASA placed Hubble into safe mode, and its main scientific instruments ceased operation while NASA investigated synchronization errors related to internal system messages. There are five main scientific instruments aboard Hubble: the Advanced Camera System (ACS), the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer.

On November 7th, NASA brought the ACS back online and has confirmed in an update on November 22nd that the WFC3 was restored to working condition the day prior. It is scheduled to continue scientific operations on November 23rd. Both instruments were recovered without significant alteration to their parameters.

"These changes would allow the instruments to handle several missed synchronization messages while continuing to operate normally if they occur in the future. These changes will first be applied to another instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, to further protect its sensitive far-ultraviolet detector. It will take the team several weeks to complete the testing and upload the changes to the spacecraft," wrote NASA officials as part of its November 22nd update.

WFC3 occupies more than a third of Hubble's observation time, so having it back in operation is a positive sign on the path returning to regular function.

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NEWS SOURCES:nasa.gov, space.com

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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