Researchers from NASA were able to restart the legendary Hubble Telescope, which has been shut down since June 13 due to a computer failure. As it became known to the publication Science, after over the past 24 hours, Hubble operators have switched from a working payload control computer to a backup device, they have restored communication with all devices and plan to return them to normal operation.
Tom Brown, Head of the Hubble Mission Office, sent an email saying “Hubble is back!” to the staff of the Scientific Institute of the Space Telescope. “I look forward to when Hubble will return to exploring the Universe,” the letter says.
Problems with the device began on June 13, when the payload computer, which controls and monitors scientific instruments, noticed a communication error with the instruments and put them into safe mode. The Hubble operators initially thought the memory module was defective, but switching to one of the three redundant modules resulted in the same error. They are researchers and other devices, but it turned out that they were working properly, and the error persisted.
As a result, the researchers switched the entire scientific instrument control and data processing (SIC & DH) block from the working device to the standby one. Over the past week, staff practiced this procedure on ground equipment, and then conducted a full analysis to make sure it can be done without damaging the telescope.
Shortly before that switch, NASA announced that the source of the problem was the Power Control Unit (PCU), which is part of SIC & DH. The PCU is supplying DC voltage to the payload computer and it is either supplying a voltage outside the normal range, or the sensor that senses the voltage was giving erroneous readings. Since the SIC & DH has a spare PCU, the researchers were able to make a replacement.
Scientists reported this morning that they were able to bring the Hubble back to normal on the A side of [SIC & DH]. ” If the telescope behaves normally in the coming days, it will resume scientific observations.