NASA Completes Diagnostic Tests to Identify Why the Hubble Space Telescope Computer Malfunctioned
(Photo : Getty Image: NASA)

NASA confirmed that it has finally finished running additional diagnostic tests as an attempt to identify the specific problem with its HST or the infamous Hubble Space Telescope's payload computer.

Malfunction of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

On June 13, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope had an existential crisis when its payload computer stopped function.

It meant that the spacecraft was not able to fulfill its task of collecting scientific data.

As a result, the Hubble had to be on idle mode. This safe mode aimed to protect its telescopes, cameras, and other essential specs from being damaged as the device underwent continuous system reboots and resets.

Hubble Space Telescope Specs

According to Fox News, the Hubble Telescope is composed of two payload computers. They could be seen on the Science instrument and Command and Data Handling Unit, or the SI C&DH.

The computers have a Standard Interface (STINT), a Central Processing Module (CPM), one active memory module, and a communication bus.

The HST also has three backup modules in case of emergencies.

Diagnostic Tests on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

NASA recently stated that the space company has already finished running essential and additional diagnostic tests on the device to identify its central issue.

Read Also: Hubble Space Telescope Remains Offline, NASA Fails to Fix its Computer Issue Three Times

The space agency mentioned that the Hubble Space Telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, together with its scientific instruments, is in excellent health and is undergoing a safe configuration.

Fox News reported that the tests on June 23 and June 24 involved turning on the computer's backup for the very first time in space.

Scientists believed that numerous tests of the payload computers' hardware pieces caused a similar error, and that its commands to only write or read from memory were deemed unsuccessful.

In addition, the space agency decided to divert its attention to other hardware.

NASA currently has its eyes on the Command Unit/Science Data Formatter, or CU/SDF found on another unit - SI C&DH.

Issues of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble's June 13 malfunction is not the only operating issue that the technology has had in 2021.

According to the media outlet, the HST suddenly went into safe mode because of an inbound software error on March. Its operation came back up after a few days, and its science operations immediately went back to normal.

However, it made setting up the Wide Field Camera 3 more complicated than it usually was.

How Does NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Provide Data

Overall, the Hubble Space Telescope has already made over 1.4 million observations, giving us some of the most significant cosmic discoveries.

The HST has been providing services to NASA for over 31 years.

It started observing the universe when it was deployed in 1990, and it is still up and running in 2021 but it is currently in safe mode.

Despite being old, its observation capabilities have rapidly evolved throughout the years. NASA makes sure to add cutting-edge instruments to ensure that it performs its best.

Related Article: Hubble Captures An Image of Two Galaxies CRASHING Into Each Other

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Written by Fran Sanders

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