NASA is studying some software modifications to Hubble Space Telescope While the agency continues its efforts to return the side telescope to service.
The recovery team is now inspecting the hardware that controls the devices, which are part of the command and data processing unit at the science instrument, the agency. He said in the update Friday (November 5). The iconic space telescope has not been able to make scientific observations since its instruments I entered a protective ‘Safe Mode’ In late October.
«Specifically, the team is analyzing the controller circuits, which generate synchronization messages and pass them on to the hardware,» NASA stated. The agency is considering changing its autopilot software to allow it to search for data-sync messages without falling into «safe mode». The agency indicated that it appears that the loss of these messages was behind this defect.
The telescope that was working in space Since 1990 It was repaired by astronauts in 2009, I entered safe mode On October 25 after a glitch, observations can not be made. All sanitary ware As the investigation continues, the agency noted in an update on Tuesday (November 2).
The telescope is not intended to be serviced in person again, as the space shuttle group that periodically flew into the telescope was discontinued in 2011 after 30 years of operations in the program. Thus, investigators are working to remotely assist Hubble. «Solutions will first be verified using ground simulators to ensure they are working as planned,» NASA added in the update.
Software changes, if at all, will occur once the Hubble team has looked at the console’s design diagrams, data from missing messages, and the scope of potential changes in the tools’ software that could address the problem.
In parallel with the rescue effort, members of the Hubble team are trying to collect data from the observatory’s cameras and instruments. Over the weekend of October 30, the team turned on parts of the near-infrared camera and multi-object spectrometer (NICMOS), «allowing the team to determine how frequently this [data synchronization] NASA reports that the problem is happening.” NICMOS was retrieved on Monday (November 1) and since then, no more data sync messages have been lost, the update said.
Then, Hubble engineers are working to restore the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instrument, with the goal of starting science gathering again early next week. The final decision will come Sunday (November 7) after the agency analyzes the data. NASA said the self-propelled guns were chosen as the best tool to try first, as they are least likely to cause stress on the observatory.
NASA noted that «if a missing message appears before this, the decision to activate the self-propelled guns will also be reconsidered,» saying that a plan to return the devices to full service is still under development. «The team is proceeding with caution to ensure the safety of the devices and to avoid additional pressures on the devices,» the agency added.