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Hubble Space Telescope's main camera is out of action

And the US government shutdown is delaying a fix.

Space Shuttle Atlantis To Repair Hubble Space Telescope

The Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope is having problems.

NASA / Getty Images

The main camera on the Hubble Space Telescope is no longer functioning because of a hardware problem, NASA said Wednesday.

The problems with the Wide Field Camera 3 started on Tuesday, forcing the telescope is use its other three active instruments to continue its science observations while the anomaly is investigated, the agency wrote.

NASA noted that the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed in 2009, includes redundant electronics that could be used recover the instrument, but didn't offer details about the glitch nor did it immediately respond to a request for comment.

"This is when everyone gets a reminder about two crucial aspects of space exploration: 1) complex systems like @NASAHubble only work due to a dedicated team of amazing experts; 2) all space systems have finite lifetimes and such issues are bound to happen from time to time," wrote Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a tweet.

The problem may not be addressed for a while, since NASA and other US federal agencies continue to feel the affects of the partial government shutdown, a result of President Donald Trump and Congress disagreeing over funding his border wall, as noted by

NASA has previously tried to solve problems on the telescope by basically turning it off and on again, but didn't give any indication that it would employed that classic approach this time.

On Monday, we saw an incredible image of the Triangulum Galaxy, the second-largest ever released by Hubble.

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