NASA // November 17, 2021
the devices transitioned to a fail-safe configuration on October 25th
(NASA) – The Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys has continued to gather scientific data as NASA seeks to correct an anomaly that began on October 25th.
The sync messages received stopped scientific production at the time, and the team has not detected any other missing messages since tracking began on November 1st.
Hubble accessories have remained in safe mode as NASA takes steps to restore them to operating mode. The rest of the telescope works as expected.
Over the past week, the Hubble team has identified near-term changes that could be made to how instruments monitor and respond to missing synchronization messages, as well as how a payload computer monitors instruments.
This would allow scientific activities to continue even if several forgotten messages occur. The team has also continued to analyze the instrument flight software to ensure that all possible solutions are safe for the instruments.
This coming week, the team will begin determining the order in which the remaining instruments will be returned, including schedules for changing instrument parameters prior to testing and developing the methods.
They will also test these changes to make sure they are working as intended and continue to isolate the root cause of the error.
The group estimates that these steps will take several weeks to complete for the first instrument. The team has not yet decided which instrument would receive these changes first.
In the meantime, they will begin to take steps to restore Wide Field Camera 3 without further changes next week, as was done with Advanced Camera for Surveys as a temporary and low-risk step toward restoring normal scientific operations.
November 8, 2021 – Hubble’s advanced measurement camera The device continues science, research continues
The Hubble team was able to return the Advanced Camera for Surveys on November 7th. The device has once again begun to make scientific observations.
Other Hubble instruments will remain in safe mode as NASA continues to investigate lost sync messages detected on October 23rd. The camera was chosen as the first reversible instrument, as it faces the least complications if the message disappears.
Over the past week, the mission team has continued to investigate the root cause of the sync issues and has not identified any other issues.
The team will continue this week to look for possible short-term solutions and implement the assessments. When this happens, the group will discuss bringing other instruments back into operation and continuing their scientific findings.
November 4, 2021 – NASA takes additional steps to investigate Hubble Instruments in Safe Mode
NASA is continuing to work to solve a problem that has disrupted the scientific operations of the Hubble Space Telescope.
The science devices went into safe mode on October 25 after detecting the disappearance of certain data synchronization messages.
The Hubble team focuses on isolating the problem from the hardware that controls the instruments and is part of the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling unit.
In particular, the team analyzes the control unit circuit, which generates synchronization messages and forwards them to the devices.
When analyzing the control unit, the team seeks to find possible solutions to the problem.
These include possible changes to the instrument flight software that could check these lost messages and compensate for them without putting the equipment in safe mode. These workarounds would first be checked using ground simulators to ensure that they work as intended.
Over the weekend of October 30, the team was preparing to deploy components of the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) to gather information about the problem so the team can determine how often this problem occurs.
Installed in 1997, NICMOS has been inactive since 2010, when Wide Field Camera 3 became available.
NICMOS allowed the team to use the tool to collect data on these lost messages while keeping active devices off for security reasons. Since NICMOS was restored on November 1, no other sync messages have been lost.
The team is now taking steps to restore Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) from safe mode and begin gathering science with this device early next week.
The team will make the decision on Sunday after analyzing the latest data. If the lost message is displayed before that, the decision to activate the ACS will also be reviewed.
The team will proceed cautiously to ensure the safety of the instruments and to avoid additional strain on the equipment. Therefore, only ACS will be used in this capacity next week. ACS was chosen as the first recovery instrument because it faces the least complications if the message disappears.
Next week, the team will continue to analyze control unit design diagrams and data related to lost messages to determine what may have been causing this problem.
They are also exploring possible software changes to the instruments that could help resolve it.
Once the team has a better understanding of the frequency of the problem and has figured out the time needed to implement any software changes, they will discuss a plan to bring other instruments back into science.
November 1, 2021 – Hubble Instruments remain in safe mode, NASA team is investigating
NASA continues to investigate why the Hubble Space Telescope instruments recently went into safe mode, which interrupted scientific activity.
The instruments are healthy and remain safe as the Task Force continues its research.
Hubble science equipment issued error codes at 1.46 EDT on October 23, indicating the disappearance of a specific sync message. This message provides timing information that the instruments use to properly respond to information requests and commands.
The task force reset the instruments and resumed scientific activity the next morning.
At 2.38 a.m. EDT on Oct. 25, scientific devices again issued error codes indicating the disappearance of several synchronization messages. As a result, the scientific devices entered a safe mode independently programmed.
Task Force members evaluate spacecraft data and system diagrams to better understand the synchronization problem and how to solve it.
They are also developing and testing procedures to gather additional information from the spacecraft. These actions are expected to last at least one week.
The rest of the spacecraft are working as expected.
CLICK HERE TO SHOW BREVARD COUNTY NEWS