At Last! NASA Successfully Switches to Backup Computer on Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope Inside

Hubble Space Telescope Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)

NASA has successfully switched to backup hardware on the Hubble Space Telescope, including powering on the backup payload computer, on July 15. The switch was performed to compensate for a problem with the original payload computer that occurred on June 13 when the computer halted, suspending science data collection.

The switch included bringing online the backup Power Control Unit (PCU) and the backup Command Unit/Science Data Formatter (CU/SDF) on the other side of the Science Instrument and Command & Data Handling (SI C&DH) unit. The PCU distributes power to the SI C&DH components, and the CU/SDF sends and formats commands and data. In addition, other pieces of hardware onboard Hubble were switched to their alternate interfaces to connect to this backup side of the SI C&DH. Once these steps were completed, the backup payload computer on this same unit was turned on and loaded with flight software and brought up to normal operations mode. 

The Hubble team is now monitoring the hardware to ensure that everything is working properly. The team has also started the process for recovering the science instruments out of their safe mode configuration. This activity is expected to take more than a day as the team runs various procedures and ensures the instruments are at stable temperatures. The team will then conduct some initial calibration of the instruments before resuming normal science operations.

6 Comments on "At Last! NASA Successfully Switches to Backup Computer on Hubble Space Telescope"

  1. Yay, NASA!

  2. Great news! More amazing photos to look forward to. Not to mention the further scientific findings Hubble may bring.

  3. Koos Pretorius | July 17, 2021 at 6:51 am | Reply

    My boy adk if you swapped the cristals like in Star Gate to get it up and running

  4. How can you programmed sheep actually believe a telescope in the supposed chaos in space can fix it itself. Brainwashing runs deep. Its ridiculous that anyone buys it…

    • Robert Craigs | July 18, 2021 at 11:49 am | Reply

      Lack of knowledge on your part. Because you don’t understand, you believe it’s not possible. The telescope id NOT fixing itself. Highly qualified people working very hard and with great care are fixing it from the ground. The telescope is old. AI was not an option then so fixing itself is not an option now.

  5. Thank goodness, I was honestly quite worried.

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