NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in action after hardware problem
It's alive! It's alive!
Jackson RyanFormer Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
The latest update from NASA is all good news though: Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 resumed science observations, snapping photos of the distant universe, just after midday, Jan. 17.
Investigating the error from Jan. 8, NASA concluded that voltage levels had jumped outside their safe values, causing the suspension of operations. Further evaluations noted that voltage levels were OK, but telemetry circuits -- which help NASA collect data from the Telescope -- "were not accurate". A router-like reset had those telemetry circuits brought back to operations.
Wide Field Camera 3 is just one of Hubble's suite of instruments and while NASA worked to get it back to collecting science images, Hubble's other instruments continued to operate as normal.
Operated by both NASA and the European Space Agency, the Hubble Space Telescope was on a 15-year mission when it launched on April 25, 1990. The Wide Field Camera 3 was a Hubble upgrade, installed in May 2009 during its last servicing mission, which planned to extend Hubble's mission to 20 years. It's now in its 29th year of life.
NASA's Hubble telescope delivers stunning new space pictures