Hubble Space Telescope crashes, goes into safe mode, says NASA James Webb Space Telescope | Tech News

Hubble Space Telescope crashes, goes into safe mode, NASA reveals

  • In a big development that will disappoint astronomers and all those interested in things about space in general, the Hubble Space Telescope has just crashed, NASA tweeted.

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 21:32 IST
Hubble space telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope has been blindsided by computer trouble, with all astronomical viewing halted,  (AP)

In a big development that will disappoint astronomers and all those interested in things about space in general, the ageing Hubble Space Telescope has just crashed, again. This has happened after it came online after suffering another glitch months ago. Notably, the much-loved Hubble Space Telescope is about the to be replaced after having provided decades of yeoman's service by the newer James Webb Space Telescope, which is being prepared for its launch.

The latest glitch that the Hubble Space Telescope has suffered has led to it shutting its camera eye. This came as a surprise for the scientists who were operating it. NASA tweeted this post, "Hubble's science instruments went into safe mode on Monday after experiencing synchronization issues with internal spacecraft communications. Science observations have been temporarily suspended while the team investigates the issue. The instruments remain in good health." 

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Way back in June, 2021 NASA had reported that the orbiting observatory had suffered a glitch. It had been out of commission for a long time before coming online again recently.  The reason then surmised was that a 1980s-era computer that controls the science instruments had shut down, possibly because of a bad memory board. The telescope was finally saved when scientists managed to get its backup computer up and running after hope had faded.

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Hubble Telescope has been instrumental in revealing umpteen secrets of the universe that would otherwise have been impossible to unravel. It has been a window to the cosmos for humanity and it is continuing to serve well despite having passed its use-by date.  

Hubble was  project launched by both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) into Earth orbit way back in April, 1990. 

However, considering the kind of service it has provided, many would have liked to have it continue in service, but the tech onboard is so dated and worn out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get it to work properly. And that is where its replacement, the Webb Space Telescope comes into the picture. It packs the latest tech of the day and is expected to be able to peer even farther than Hubble Telescope ever could.   

NASA will launch Hubble's successor, James Webb Space Telescope on December 18 if everything goes as per schedule.  The $10 billion Webb Telescope will be shot into space on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket.

Astronomers would be hoping that not just the  launch, but its life in orbit is glitch free. The reason is that the Hubble Space Telescope is in near Earth orbit, but Webb is  going to be over 1 million kilometers from Earth. So, even as astronauts were able to go to Hubble Telescope and carry out repairs, the last one being in 2009, Web Telescope will be too far to service in any way at all. 

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First Published Date: 30 Oct, 23:59 IST