Hubble enters safe mode

October 2, 2008
The Hubble Space Telescope moves slowly away from Discovery following its release. The photo was taken during Servicing Mission 2 in 1997. Credits: NASA

At approximately 02:00 CEST on Sunday, 28 September, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope automatically entered safe mode when errors were detected in the Control Unit/Science Data Formatter-Side A.

This component is essential for the storage and transmission of data from the telescope's science instruments back to Earth. Ground control attempts to reset the device and obtain a download of the payload computer's memory were unsuccessful.
NASA specialists are currently investigating the problem and are in the process of planning a switch-over to the redundant Side B.

This is a complex task and requires that five other modules are also switched to communicating via the B channel. Many of these modules were last activated 20 years ago during ground testing prior to launch. If this transition is successfully completed the telescope could rapidly be returned to science operations.

NASA is now also evaluating the possibility of flying a back-up replacement system as part of the Servicing Mission 4 that was originally scheduled for 14 October. The replacement part, although already manufactured, needs to be fully checked and tested at the NASA Goddard Facility and as a result will not be ready for delivery to the Shuttle before early January 2009.

Provided by ESA

Explore further: Russian cosmonauts wrap up spacewalk (Update)

Related Stories

Russian cosmonauts wrap up spacewalk (Update)

August 10, 2015

Two Russian cosmonauts on Monday added new equipment outside the International Space Station and took pictures to study its exterior during a five-and-a-half hour spacewalk.

ULA's new Vulcan rocket

June 24, 2015

Fierce commercial and international political pressures have forced the rapid development of the new Vulcan launcher family recently announced by rocket maker United Launch Alliance (ULA). Vulcan's "genesis" and development ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

barakn
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 02, 2008
Old news.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.