Friday, October 24, 2008

2nd Attempt Made for Hubble Fix

Science operations appear to be on track to resume after a second attempt to fix a glitch on the Hubble Space Telescope looks to be successful. The initial failure came from the failure of the primary communications array on the observatory. NASA attempted to bring the backup array online last week but it failed due to a voltage problem which caused the computer system and array to both reset. If the computer system stays online this week, science operations will resume next week. The initial issue caused the scheduled Hubble repair mission last month to be postponed until next spring.

"The initial glitch with the Side A relay channel postponed the planned Oct. 14 launch of the space shuttle for its next, and last, Hubble repair mission until early 2009. Every month that the shuttle mission to service Hubble is delayed costs NASA $10 million, mission managers have said.

When the astronauts do get up to Hubble, they hope to replace the tray that houses both Sides A and B. The mission is also slated to install a new camera, replace gyroscopes and batteries, upgrade Hubble's guidance equipment and add a docking ring.

One week after two anomalous events caused a snag in NASA's attempt to revive the Hubble Space Telescope, the orbital observatory is nearly back up and running, with science operations set to resume this weekend."

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