NASA drops update on its $10 billion glitched James Webb Space Telescope

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has experienced a glitch, and now the space agency has given an update on the observatories condition.

NASA drops update on its $10 billion glitched James Webb Space Telescope
1 minute & 55 seconds read time

NASA announced last week that one of the key instruments aboard the James Webb Space Telescope malfunctioned, causing a glitch to occur.

NASA drops update on its $10 billion glitched James Webb Space Telescope 01

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched in December 2021 and eventually made it to its destination at Lagrange point 2 in July 2022, where it began scientific operations after a lengthy warm-up period. Now, the space telescope is making major developments in multiple scientific fields. It has already captured incredible images of the iconic star-forming regions such as the Pillars of Creation, while also using its extremely sensitive instruments to analyze the atmosphere of exoplanets for any biological indicators such as water, oxygen, etc.

On January 15, Webb's Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) experienced a glitch that caused its flight software to time out. NASA wrote on its blog that this glitch was a communications delay that tripped the flight software, knocking out the NIRISS instrument until further notice. Now, NASA has announced on its blog that a full investigation was launched between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, the developers of the NIRISS instrument, and found the cause of the problem, which has been fixed.

NASA drops update on its $10 billion glitched James Webb Space Telescope 03

According to NASA, the glitch was caused by a galactic cosmic ray, which is high-energy radiation that comes from the outside of our solar system. These rays can sometimes disrupt electrical systems, but as NASA explains, it's not unexpected that these encounters with rays occur as it's normal to expect a glitch every now and again with any operating spacecraft.

The space agency wrote in its blog that after completing a full reboot, the NIRISS instrument demonstrated normal timing. The instrument underwent a test observation on January 28, and according to NASA, NIRISS is now back to its full scientific operations.

In other news, a radioactive capsule has gone missing causing authorities to issue an urgent health alert to the affected area. Unfortunately, the capsule is extremely small, and the area that its been lost in stretches more than 500 miles, making the likelihood of it being found smaller than the authorities would like it to be. If you are interested in reading any more on that story, check out the link below.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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