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Hubble Space Telescope may hang in there through 2025

The assessment comes after NASA tried to bring its main camera back online.


The Hubble Space Telescope's mission head expects it to operate for another few years.


The Hubble Space Telescope is reportedly expected to last until the mid-2020s despite recent hardware problems.

The telescope's mission head expressed confidence in its instruments in an interview with days after NASA said its main camera was out of action.

"Right now, all of the subsystems and the instruments have a reliability exceeding 80 percent through 2025," Thomas Brown told the site, after presenting an engineering report on the telescope's reliability.

On Tuesday, NASA wrote that resetting the Wide Field Camera 3 seemed to do the trick -- suggesting that the tried-and-true solution of turning stuff off and on again works in space as well as on Earth. We'll know for sure in the next few days if it succeeded, the agency said.

Brown noted that the Wide Field Camera 3 and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, which were installed in 2009, still have all of their backup systems online. These systems will be a vital factor in keeping the telescope active until 2025, or 35 years after it went into service.

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"If the redundancy systems are [as] reliable [as the primaries], we can still get plenty of years out of them as well," he told

Last week, Hubble released its second-largest ever image -- a shot of the Triangulum Galaxy -- and in December astronomers used it to "see" dark matter for the first time.

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