NASA engineers successfully activated the Advanced Camera for Surveys at 9:12 a.m. EDT Friday aboard the agency's Hubble Space Telescope. Checkout was completed at 10:20 a.m. EDT with science observations scheduled to resume Sunday, July 2.
"This is the best possible news," said Ed Ruitberg, deputy associate director for the Astrophysics Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "We were confident we could work through the camera issue, and now we can get back to doing more incredible science with the camera."
Engineers began uploading commands to the instrument Thursday, June 29, in an effort to restore operational status. A pre-programmed observing timeline for normal camera science operations will begin executing at approximately 8 p.m. EDT on July 2.
Engineers received indications on Monday, June 19, that power supply voltages were out of acceptable limits, causing the camera to stop functioning. The instrument was taken off line, so engineers could study the problem and determine the appropriate remedy. Hubble observations continued using other onboard science instruments.
The third-generation Hubble instrument consists of three electronic cameras, filters and dispersers that detect light from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. Astronauts installed the camera during a servicing mission in March 2002. It was developed jointly by Goddard, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Colo.; and the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore.
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