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Hubble's first camera continues observations – Spaceflight Now

The Hubble Space Telescope is seen after its release from the Space Shuttle Columbia during a 2002 maintenance mission. Credit: NASA

The most widely used instrument in the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope is back in business after local engineers discovered an error that stopped the camera's science observations earlier this month. The cause was faulty telemetry data and no symptom 19659003] Hubble's wide-field camera 3 stopped the observations on January 8, when it detected unforeseen unexpected voltage levels in the device and the engineers analyzed data from the telescope to diagnose the cause of the problem.

19659003] It turned out that the voltage data that resulted in the meter having subjected its observations were incorrect.

"After further investigation, the voltage levels were in the normal range, but the technical data within the telemetry circuits for these voltage levels were not accurate," NASA said in a statement. "In addition, all other telemetry in these circuits also contained erroneous values, indicating that this was a telemetry problem and not a power problem."

The device of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) contains a redundant set of electronic controls that could have been activated, but the backup systems were not required.

The engineers sent commands to Hubble to reset the telemetry circuits on the WFC3, and all voltage readings were normal when the camera was back online. The officers were planning further investigations to find out why the voltage data was originally faulty, NASA said.

Wide Field Camera 3 continued the science observations on January 17


Other scientific instruments from Hubble, including another imager called Advanced Camera Surveys. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph were not affected by the problem of the Wide Field Camera 3. Their observations continued uninterruptedly as engineers analyzed the WFC3 stress problem.

All instruments use light collected through Hubble's 2.4-meter primary mirror and then passed through the telescope to camera and spectrograph detectors.

Astronauts on The STS-125 service mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in May 2009 installed the Wide Field Camera 3 at Hubble's Science Bay. Developed jointly by NASA's engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute and Ball Aerospace, the instrument is designed to capture a wide range of stars, galaxies and planets in our own solar system.

The camera was also the one instrument that first discovered Ultima Thule – formally called MU69 in 2014 – the distant object in the Kuiper belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto, NASA's New Horizons probe during a fast New Year's Day visited.

Nearly 29 years since launch and almost The Hubble Space Telescope, ten years after the fifth and final shuttle service flight to repair and upgrade the observatory, continues to produce high-quality scientific data that has not been surpassed by any other space astronomy mission become.

Hubble, however, shows signs of his age. [19659003WissenschaftlicheBeobachtungenmitHubblewurdenimOktoberfürdreiWochenunterbrochennachdemeinesderGyroskopeeinesRaumfahrzeugsversagthattediedieKontrolledesTeleskopshattenzeigenNachdemKreiselversagenwarenbeiHubblenochdreiseinersechsGyrosinBetriebundalsdieControllereinenReservekreiselanbrachtenzeigtedasGeräthöhereRatenalsnormalDieControllerkonntendieKreiselratenaufeinbrauchbaresNiveaubringenundHubblesetztedieBeobachtungenEndeOktobermitdreiBetriebskreiselnfort

The observatory can work if necessary with a single gyro, but such operation is limited to certain Hubble swaths of the sky.

Astronauts installed six new gyroscopes on the last shuttle repair mission in 2009 to extend the lifespan of Hubble. The three gyros that are still in use are "improved units" with a longer design life. All three failed units were based on the older design, according to Tom Brown, head of the Hubble Space Telescope Mission Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who oversees the mission's scientific operations for NASA.

"The three remaining gyros that we are currently operating on are all of these improved gyros, unlike those that have not been successful," Brown said. "They're about five times longer than the other style last time, so we expect the gyros that we're going to operate on to last a long time."

"The same goes for the instruments," he continued. The wide-field camera 3 and COS (Cosmic Origins Spectrograph) contain a series of redundant electronic systems that have not even been tapped during the entire decade they were up there, after a while in space or in space Your home, like a light you turn off and on every day, eventually wears out the material and breaks down, so we dismantle those things.

NASA wants Hubble to complete his mission at least until James Webb's launch Web Space Telescope continues, a frequently-delayed mission that is now scheduled for launch in 2021. Webb will fly with a larger plane mirror than Hubble, which reflects the point of view of the As tronomen extended deeper into the cosmos.

But since the Space Shuttle, which has been retired since 2011, there is no way to install additional hardware upgrades or replace failed devices with Hubble.

"We still expect (Hubble) until 2025, or maybe even longer, depending on how things are going," Brown said.

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