The Hubble Space Telescope is taking the senior satellite equivalent of a mental health day. The godfather of all orbiting observatories “went into safe mode due to an onboard software error” at about 1 a.m. PT Sunday.
“All science systems appear normal and Hubble is safe and stable,” NASA wrote on Twitter.
NASA is hopeful it can address the software glitch from the ground and get the telescope back to normal space operations.
Hubble has overcome far more serious issues in the past. In 2018, itfollowing the failure of a gyro, which is a device to measure how quickly the spacecraft is turning. The Hubble team managed to switch to a backup gyro and get Hubble up and running after being down for a few weeks.
Hubble is already well beyond its planned lifetime, which was set at 15 years. It’s now in year 30 of operations. NASA would ideally like to see it last at least a little while longer until the deployment of its successor, the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope.
The James Webb telescope has been delayed several times, but is now.
Get well soon, Hubble!
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