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: Russia announces plan to build new space station with NASA

Related Stories

Recommended for you

In search of the ninth planet

October 17, 2017

A University of Michigan doctoral student has logged two pieces of evidence that may support the existence of a planet that could be part of our solar system, beyond Neptune.

To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united

October 17, 2017

For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring - the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, Cornell astronomers now ...

Microbes leave 'fingerprints' on Martian rocks

October 17, 2017

Scientists around Tetyana Milojevic from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna are in search of unique biosignatures, which are left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. The biochemist ...

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.