Here’s a plan to fix Hubble and his 47-year-old computer


a week after Hubble It will enter safe mode due to a problem with the internal computer. Suddenly, the space telescope that gave us some of the most important astronomical discoveries began to fail. Now NASA has a plan to restore it, if it goes according to the theory.

Photo: Getty Images

.’s payload computer Hubble It stopped its operations on June 13 and automatically entered safe mode. This means the telescope is still working, but it won’t turn on or perform operations until your computer is fixed. It is a precaution that should be taken automatically to avoid further damage.

After nearly a month, Hubble Still without signs of life. For now, NASA’s attempts have been to restart it or replace it with the replacement computer that the space telescope has. In addition, within Hubble There are two identical computers, the second is specially placed there in case the first fails. Which already failed, but there is no way to start the second.


Photo: Getty Images

What’s the plan?

According to NASA, they will attempt to run a backup of the Scientific Data Command/Coordination Unit (CU/SDF) Hubble. This component is responsible for transmitting and coordinating commands and data in the telescope and can in principle help activate the computer’s spare memory, thus replacing the memory that is in principle thought to be defective.

NASA reported that last week they tested the procedure in simulations on Earth to see if it was feasible. There is still hope and it can work because the test was successful. And if all goes well, the change in Hubble It can be run during this next week after completing all the corresponding test procedures.

This means that detailed procedures and risk assessments will be conducted before anything is touched on the Hubble, just in case an error occurs and the entire telescope is damaged.


Photo: Getty Images

In the meantime, Hubble will continue in safe mode and without scientific observations. For more than four decades, he’s been delighted with great photos and making some of the most important observations in the history of astronomy. If the reform is successful, it is expected to be useful until 2040, although James Webb, the replacement, will reach space much earlier.

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