Space

Technical fault strikes Hubble with government shutdown set to postpone repairs

Technical fault strikes Hubble...
Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has stopped working due to a hardware fault
Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has stopped working due to a hardware fault
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Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has stopped working due to a hardware fault
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Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has stopped working due to a hardware fault

Hubble is in trouble once again. One of the cameras on the aging space telescope has automatically suspended operations due to a fault. While Hubble will continue to scan the skies with its three remaining active cameras, NASA can't be sure when the telescope will be repaired, due to the ongoing US government shutdown.

The Wide Field Camera 3 suspended its operations on January 8, after encountering a hardware problem. This camera was first installed on Hubble in 2009 and over the years has been responsible for some of the telescope's most stunning snaps.

This is the second technical issue to befall Hubble in a matter of months. Back in October, one of the craft's gyroscopes failed, meaning it could no longer turn to look around. After a few weeks, NASA engineers managed to fix the problem by performing a series of maneuvers to shake loose a blockage in the thick fluid surrounding the instrument.

But the current problem might be compounded by external factors. NASA is currently running on a skeleton crew, since many staff are not allowed to work during the government shutdown, which has now entered its 19th day. According to Nature, the agency is currently investigating the technical problem to see if a solution can be reached with available staff.

Even if the Wide Field Camera 3 remains offline, Hubble's science operations will continue with its three remaining cameras.

Source: Hubble

4 comments
midas
While I'm a long-time fan of the Hubble, was it really necessary to politicize even this? I'm sure we'll (and by extension, NASA) survive a few months of government shut down. I'm sure the remaining cameras will be capable of detecting anything urgent like alien invasions or the sun going nova.
Pierre Collet
Well, there are 16 more currently turned towards the earth. If Hubble dies, will the army accept to donate one of theirs to fundamental research and turn it towards the stars?
Lamar Havard
Okay, now start griping that President Trump isn’t putting on a suit and fixing it himself! Where did all the petty, butthurt snowflakes come from?! Besides, didn’t I read a while back that Hubble wasn’t going to BE repaired any longer? And what’s the holdup with the James Webb telescope?
jgb
Well it wouldn't be happening if the democrats weren't playing their petty little games. They did after all want the wall when obama was in office.