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NASA Investigating Cause of Latest Hubble Telescope Instrument Glitch

Hardware malfunction

NASA Investigating Cause of Latest Hubble Telescope Instrument Glitch

NASA is still investigating a glitch that caused Hubble Space Telescope‘s instruments to stop operating.

According to a NASA statement, equipment aboard the Hubble spacecraft went into safe mode on Oct. 25. The incident affected operations but NASA stated that all instruments are in good condition. The equipment will remain in safe mode as officials continue to investigate the incident, Space .com reported Tuesday.

The organization revealed that the glitches that caused the safe mode configuration also took place on Oct. 23 but were resolved quickly. The error in question is a loss of a synchronization message that provides timing information to respond to data requests and commands. When the second instance occurred, error codes show “multiple losses of synchronization messages,” which automatically caused the safe mode setting.

NASA said Hubble mission team members on the ground will perform additional tests to identify the cause of the problem. Such activities could result in more data to analyze and it could take at least one week to complete the work.

The synchronization errors are not the first issues that Hubble has experienced since it was deployed in April 1990. On June 13, the spacecraft experienced a glitch on the main payload computer that halted data collection. Engineers had to activate a backup computer as they worked to find the root cause of the problems. Hubble went into safe mode when the computer crashed and it took over a month for engineers to revive the main payload.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been used to study the cosmos and sends detailed images of space.

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Category: Space

Tags: hardware glitch Hubble Space Telescope NASA space Space .com