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NASA has brought the Hubble telescope to a stop due to a problem with the payload computer.

NASA has brought the Hubble telescope to a stop due to a problem with the payload computer.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (Credits: NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Lockheed Corporation)

NASA has brought the Hubble telescope to a stop due to a problem with the payload computer. NASA, the US space agency, is continuing work on the Hubble Space Telescope’s payload computer. Which stops owing to a deteriorating memory module.

Hubble, which has been observing the cosmos for 30 years. Had a technical issue with its payload computer on June 13. On June 14, NASA reported that an effort to restart the computer failed.

“NASA is continuing to work on addressing a problem with the Hubble Space Telescope’s payload computer. The operations team will conduct tests and gather more information about the system in order to better identify the issue. Until the problem is address, the scientific equipment will stay in a safe mode. The telescope and its scientific equipment are in excellent condition “According to a statement from the space agency.

The agency’s first investigations indicates that the computer stop was causes by a deteriorating computer memory module. However, when the operations team tried to switch to a backup memory module, the instruction to start the backup module failed.

Another effort was made to gather further diagnostic information on both modules while attempting to bring both memory modules online. However, NASA said that such efforts were unsuccessful.

The payload computer is a NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer-1 (NSSC-1) system installs on the Science Instrument Command. And Data Handling unit in the 1980s. The computer’s function is to operate and coordinate the scientific instruments. As well as to monitor them for health and safety reasons.

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It is completely redundant in the sense that a second computer, complete with related hardware, exists in orbit and maybe switched to in the case of a failure.

Both computers are capable of accessing and using any of four separate memory modules, each of which has 64K of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) memory. The payload computer operates on a single memory module at a time, with the other three acting as backups.

The payload computer’s function is to control and coordinate the spacecraft’s scientific equipment. Following Sunday’s stoppage, the main computer ceased receiving a “keep-alive” signal, a normal handshake between the payload and main spacecraft computers indicating that all is OK.

The main computer then immediately switched to a safe mode configuration for all scientific equipment. The payload computer was restarted on Monday, June 14, by control center staff at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, but it quickly encountered the same issue, the space agency said.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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