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The first pictures of the Hubble Space Telescope after the glitch

The first pictures of the Hubble Space Telescope after the glitch

As we know, within a day June 13 a fail The Hubble Space Telescope prevented Surveillance campaign in those days. Testing and recovery took just over a month to get a file backHST To function properly thanks to team work NASA.

Only in the afternoon (US time) of July 17 It was possible to go back in Scientific notes Thanks to the use of a the system From Support. The space agency these days showed what were the first images taken by the space telescope as soon as possible to start working properly, with picture For some galaxies (ARP-MADORE2115-273 and ARP-MADORE0002-503).

The first images of the Hubble Space Telescope after the failure

The first goals observed after the restoration Hubble Space Telescope They were two colliding galaxies (ARP-MADORE2115-273) but also a spiral galaxy (ARP-MADORE0002-503) with odd arms, when usually even numbers. Some globular clusters and aurora borealis have also been observed on Jupiter.

Click on the image to enlarge

Pictures “raw” that sensorHST Acquires are black and white. They are filters that are overlaid during the acquisition process that allow you to get the color images we all know (at multiple exposures). For example 3 . wide field camera (WFC 3) contains four infrared filters while Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) has three for visible light (blue, red and green).

NASA telescope

Praise for the successful recovery of operations came from the highest offices of the space agency. Bill Nelson (NASA Administrator) An I have announced “I am delighted to see that Hubble is once again setting its eyes on the universe, once again capturing the kind of images that have intrigued and inspired us for decades. This is the time to celebrate the success of a truly dedicated team.”.

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Space telescope restoration

beingHST Built in the 1980s (starting with a spy satellite chassis) it was also necessary to call upon the retired employees who worked on its construction. Students and former engineers who have specific knowledge aboutSI C&DH unit. also went to Search among documents up to the age of forty.

Initially “the suspects” They were memory modules, but they were transient To backup them The problem is not solved. So it was thought that the backup computer, which had already been replaced in the past and had not been run in space, was to test the other components. This step also did not solve the problem, but it did help to exclude some components.


Then we moved on to the Command Module / Data Science Coordinator and power control unit (PCU). Due to the operational difficulty and risks associated with operating backup systems, all steps were performed using “Just calm down”. It took 15 hours to shut down the primary computer, boot the backup computer into safe mode, activate other subsystems, and change interfaces. He could have condemned a mistake Hubble Space Telescope.

After these steps, the complete procedure for switching and final switching of the backup device was reviewed with a team of 50 people. Another team went on to review the history of the interventions performed on the HST, and to determine the possible cause of the failure of the PCU. On July 15, it was decided to switch toSI C&DH unit Backup (which has a new PCU inside). At 5:30 a.m. on July 16 (Italian time) the restoration was successfully completed. After some calibrations were made, observations resumed on July 17.

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