A camera on the Hubble Space Telescope has gone dark, and scientists are trying to figure out what happened and why.
Astronomers have reported an issue with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope, which popped up an alert claiming the camera’s software had not loaded correctly during a regular computer function on February 28th. NASA officials said in an update on March 1 that the Hubble team, flight controllers, and software experts are all trying to fix the problem. When it comes to figuring out what went wrong, NASA officials say they’re working on a recovery strategy as they investigate the fundamental cause.
As of now, the telescope is competent to carry out its mission. A 29-year-old observatory, Hubble contains three more scientific instruments. All of these instruments are operational and completing their tasks as expected. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph are among the instruments. In March 2002, Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed, and it has since taken some of the most breathtaking images of the cosmos.
The astronauts were on a servicing mission at the time of the installation. An electrical short in 2007 knocked the camera out of commission. But in 2009, during NASA’s STS-125 mission, astronauts were able to fix the camera. The Wide Field Camera 3 of the telescope was taken offline in January after odd voltage readings were detected by the software. Real-world voltage levels were found to be adequate, according to NASA. The Hubble Space Telescope mission has been a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency. With the original goal of a 15-year life span, it was introduced in April of 1990. However, it has now lasted for nearly twice as long.