Feeds

Hubble going blind with old age

NASA working on a fix

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The main camera on the Hubble Space Telescope has broken down, leaving ground-based engineers with a puzzle on their hands. As of Sunday, NASA was still not sure what was wrong with the telescope.

The camera, which was installed in the last service mission in 2002, went offline on Monday last week. The Advanced Camera for Surveys has gone into safe mode before, but not for such a long period.

NASA engineers suspect the telescope has a problem with its low-voltage power supply interface, somewhere between the batteries and the camera. It could also be that a cosmic event damaged the memory, according to reports.

Ed Campion, a NASA spokesman at the Goddard Space Flight Center, told the Associated Press: "Both possibilities are things that can be resolved here on the ground."

If it is the power supply, engineers should be able to switch over to back up systems, and this could happen as early as Friday June 30.

Hubble's science programs should not be too badly affected. Bruce Margon, STScI's Associate Director for Science told Space.com: "We just have to rush around a bit to change the schedule."

This problem, however, is far from the biggest obstacle to Hubble's continued operation. The telescope has not been serviced since 2002, because of Shuttle being grounded after the loss of Columbia.

The gap in its service history means it badly needs new batteries, and its gyroscopes are in need of repair. These fixes would extend the life of the 'scope to 2013. Without them, the power supply will fail by 2008 and the 'scope will be crashed into the sea. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.