Almost a month ago, we were writing in a previous article how the famous Hubble Space Telescope operated by NASA and the European Space Agency was going through some technical issues, having its payload computer halted and becoming unable to collect data. The telescope became inactive, but now, things have changed.
Thanks to SciTechDaily, we know that NASA has found a solution to put the Hubble telescope back in its tracks. The space agency has switched to backup hardware, including the activation of the backup payload computer.
The backup payload computer was turned on
The backup Command Unit/Science Data Formatter (CU/SDF), as well as the backup Power Control Unit (PCU) were brought online on the Science Instrument and Command & Command Data Handling (SI C&DH) unit’s other side. Other pieces of hardware from Hubble were switched to an alternate interface for connecting to the backup side of the SI C&DH.
Normal operations mode was activated for the backup payload computer. Richard Ellis, an astronomer from University College London, said as quoted by ScienceMag.org:
You have to tell everyone how nervous we all were!
Ellis adds that the telescope has always been “a truly global facility. Everyone is a friend of Hubble. It’s unique.”
Having a history of over 30 years, Hubble is only about the size of a school bus, and it weighs 24,500 pounds. Hubble is also a satellite, as it orbits our planet at a speed of 17,000 mph.
The Hubble Space Telescope was built by NASA while in partnership with the European Space Agency, and both agencies are currently operating the satellite. However, according to History.com, the early origins of Hubble date back sometime around 1946, meaning more than ten years before NASA was even established.