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Devices on Hubble in protected mode; NASA attempting to know why


Hubble Space Telescope above Earth, photographed during STS-125, Servicing Mission 4, May 2009.
Enlarge / Hubble Area Telescope above Earth, photographed throughout STS-125, Servicing Mission 4, Could 2009.

On Monday, NASA introduced that the Hubble Area Telescope’s science devices had been in an prolonged shutdown after issues appeared in late October. The problems arose as failed inner communications induced the science devices to change into protected mode twice over a two-day interval. Every thing outdoors the devices is behaving usually, so the telescope will not be in danger.

Earlier this yr, Hubble spent an prolonged interval in protected mode resulting from issues with the ability provide that feeds the primary payload pc. As a result of the ability provide affected a wide range of {hardware}, the problems had been tough to diagnose.

On this case, the problems look like easier, no less than superficially. The instrument package deal on the Hubble makes use of an inner synchronization sign to make sure that every part registers on the identical time, permitting devices to answer instructions within the correct order. On October 23, certainly one of these synchronization indicators did not register, inflicting all of the scientific devices to enter protected mode. A easy reset of the devices acquired every part working once more.

However on October 25, the scientific devices registered the lack of a number of synchronization indicators, and all of them re-entered protected mode. Given the repeat and obvious escalating nature of the issue, NASA has left the devices in that state since.

NASA says its engineers are assessing the habits of the devices and searching over Hubble’s {hardware} setup to determine what may very well be inflicting the issue. That info is getting used to plot check procedures that may permit NASA to slim down the culprits and provide you with a restore process.

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