A month ago, it became clear that the Hubble Space Telescope, more than 30 years after it was sent into space, had become unusable after the crash of a payload computer from the 1980s. But don’t panic, NASA said, because the space organizations had provided the Hubble with various spare parts that could be replaced automatically. That has now been achieved, but it turned out to be by no means an easy task.
Back online after a month
Installing and getting the backup payload computer ‘working’ took a little over a month. The first four weeks alone were needed to analyze the exact problem with the old payload computer. The analysis also showed that there were no technical problems with the telescope itself and its scientific instruments.
After that, the procedure for replacing the faulty computer with the existing backup system could be started. The campaign was successfully completed just before the weekend and the Hubble has been ‘online’ again since last Saturday (17 July).
“Hubble is an icon and gives us an incredible insight into the cosmos of the past three decades. I am proud of the Hubble team, both our current members and the Hubble alumni who have lent their support and expertise. Thanks to their dedication and thoughtful work will continue to build Hubble on its 31-year legacy with its view of the universe to broaden our horizons,” said NASA’s Bill Nelson.