Although it has a history of over 30 years and it’s approaching its replacement by the James Webb Space Telescope, the good ol’ Hubble operated by NASA and ESA still proves that it has what it takes to be very useful for astronomical goals. SpaceNews.com reveals that a software error caused the telescope to activate a safe mode, but it didn’t take more than a few days for the gear to come back to normal.
The Hubble telescope was back in business on March 11 at 8 pm. An ‘enhancement’ recently uploaded to Hubble, as NASA calls it, caused the software error. Although the new addition was meant for compensating for fluctuations from one of the gyroscopes of the telescope, a glitch occurring in the software caused a broader problem with the main computer of Hubble on March 7.
Hubble could keep working for a few decades more
John Grunsfeld is a former NASA astronaut who served as the agency’s associate administrator for science. He declared last June:
We have the technology to go back to Hubble.
Grunsfeld also added:
We could keep Hubble going for another few decades.
Although the scientists solved the problem for the moment by disabling the software enhancement, they aim to add even more corrections and test the software next time before uploading it.
The Hubble telescope remains in operation in the low Earth orbit. Hubble is also one of the largest and most versatile telescopes, and it’s renowned as a vital research tool. The telescope was named after the great astronomer Edwin Hubble who had enormous contributions to astronomy. He discovered that there are numerous other galaxies out there except for our own and that the Universe itself is expanding.