test the backup procedure

More than three weeks later, the NASA has not yet fixed the computer payload issue Hubble. The engineers have started testing the backup procedure which should be performed on the space telescope. Paul Hertz, Director of the Astrophysics Division, ha declared that the operation is rather risky.

Hubble in Safe Mode

After carrying out several operations, including the restart of the main computer payload and the activation of the backup computer payload, NASA engineers realized that the problem is due to other hardware components of the unit Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SI C&DH).

The search for the malfunction proceeds by trial and error (obviously it is not possible to see and touch the components), but now it is necessary to switch to the module Command Unit/Science Data Formatter (CU / SDF) reserve which, in turn, requires the activation of other modules connected to the SI C&DH unit. This operation is very risky because, in case of errors, the telescope will become unusable.

The backup procedure has been tested for two days and will be replicated in space. Paul Hertz stressed that the engineering team must find the solution with everyone in mind things that could go wrong and sort them by probability. Prior to sending commands to the telescope, NASA’s top-flight approval is required. A small mistake would mean the end of Hubble.

Hertz believes the telescope can get back to work and continue its scientific mission for many years (theoretically until 2040). The successor James Webb it is expected to be launched into space in late October.

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