The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 automatically suspended operations January 8. NASA now reports the camera was brought back to operations mode, edging closer to once again conducting science operations.
The problem started when Wide Field Camera 3’s software detected that some of its voltage levels fell outside the predefined range, according to NASA. For safety purposes, it autonomously suspended its operations, leaving it up to the team at NASA to solve the anomaly.
“Upon further investigation, the voltage levels appeared to be within normal range, yet the engineering data within the telemetry circuits for those voltage levels were not accurate. In addition, all other telemetry within those circuits also contained erroneous values indicating that this was a telemetry issue and not a power supply issue,” according to NASA.
After resetting the telemetry circuits and associated boards, the values returned to normal and Wide Field Camera 3’s suspension transitioned back to operations. The team will closely monitor the situation for the next 48 to 72 hours, and will continue to investigate why the data values were initially incorrect.
NASA expects the camera to collect science images again by the week’s end.
Wide Field Camera 3 was installed during NASA’s 2009 Servicing Mission 4. “Hubble itself is in its 29th year of operations, well surpassing its original 15-year lifetime,” according to NASA.
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