NASA completes tests to identify problem with Hubble Space Telescope computer

NASA’s Hubble spots stunning ‘pinwheeling’ galaxy

NASA’s Hubble teleschope is sharing the wonders of the universe with its latest find, a ‘pinwheeling’ galaxy.

NASA said Friday it had completed additional diagnostic testing in an effort to identify a problem with the Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST) payload computer. 

This announcement comes on the heels of additional testing on Wednesday and Thursday and after the spacecraft’s payload computer “halted” on June 13 and it stopped collecting science data. 

The power regulator is also a potential culprit and NASA said the team would continue to assess hardware on the SI C&DH unit over the next week.

“If the team determines the CU/SDF or the power regulator is the likely cause, they will recommend switching to the backup CU/SDF module and the backup power regulator,” it said.

This is not the first time this year that the HST has run into operating issues.

The Hubble Space Telescope hovers at the boundary of Earth and space in this picture, taken after Hubble’s second servicing mission in 1997.

In March, the telescope “went into safe mode due to an onboard software error.” The issue was resolved just days later and science operations quickly resumed – though getting the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument up and functional proved a little more difficult.

The HST was deployed by the space shuttle Discovery in 1990 and has been observing the universe for more than 31 years.


The telescope’s observation capabilities have “grown immensely” as new, cutting-edge scientific instruments were added over the course of five astronaut servicing missions.

The HST has made more than 1.4 million observations over the course of its lifetime — contributing to some of the most significant discoveries of the cosmos – and looked back into the universe’s past to locations more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth.

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