Feeds

NASA goes for Hubble back-up boot-up

'Wakey wakey, Side B Control Unit'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA will this morning attempt to boot up the Hubble space telescope's redundant Side B Control Unit/Science Data Formatter (CU/SDF) following the failure last month of its operational Side A counterpart which blinded the 'scope.

The microprocessor-based CU/SDF is critical to Hubble's operation because it receives data from the telescope's five main instruments and formats it for transmission to Earth. The Side B back-up has not been fired up since Hubble went aloft 18 years ago, but if it can be coaxed into life, the flying eye could be back in action by the end of the week.

According to the Guardian, Hubble programme manager Art Whipple said: "It is obviously a possibility that things will not come up [but] there's very little ageing that goes on with an unpowered component in space."

Whatever the outcome, the space shuttle Atlantis mission STS-125 - the final servicing trip to Hubble - has already been knocked back to next year. The 11-day jaunt will involve five space walks designed to extend the 'scope's life by a further five years.

The crew's schedule includes maintenance on the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, as well as equipping Hubble with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph - designed to "observe the light put out by extremely faint, far-away quasars and see how that light changes as it passes through the intervening gas between distant galaxies".

The team will also fit the new Wide Field Camera 3, which at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths "represents a dramatic improvement in capability over all previous Hubble cameras". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.