Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 operations expected to resume by week’s end

Shane McGlaun - Jan 16, 2019, 5:52 am CST
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Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 operations expected to resume by week’s end

The Hubble has been used by NASA to make some incredible discoveries over the years. The space telescope has also been a bit of trouble as well requiring multiple astronaut visits to fix issues over its lifetime. The most recent trouble for the Hubble came with an anomaly that forced the Wide Field Camera 3 to stop functioning.

NASA is back with an explanation of what happened and a promise on when the telescope will return to normal operations. NASA reports that shortly after noon on January 8, software installed on the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument detected a signal that some voltage levels within the camera were out of a defined range. To prevent any damage, the instrument autonomously suspended its normal operations.

NASA says that further investigation has revealed that the voltage levels appear to be within the normal range for the instrument. Engineering data within telemetry circuits showed that the voltage levels were inaccurate. NASA says that all other telemetry data in those circuits contained erroneous values indicating a telemetry issue, not a power supply issue.

NASA has reset the telemetry circuits and associated boards, after collecting additional engineering data the instrument was returned to normal operations with all values reporting normal. NASA says that more calibration and testing will be performed over the next 48 to 72 hours to ensure correct operation.

NASA says that more investigation using new and previously collected data will be performed to determine why the data values were incorrect. If all tests go as planned, the Wide Field Camera 3 will start to collect science images by the end of the week.


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