Hubble Space Telescope falters again, research comes to a standstill

The Hubble is again experiencing a malfunction. All instruments on board the old space telescope have been in safe mode since Monday and scientific research has come to a standstill. This is the second time this year this has happened. Flight control on Earth is investigating what is going on.

The Hubble also had to be shut down in mid-June. Then the power supply to a computer on board the satellite failed. It took a month for NASA to find the cause and for Hubble to switch to a backup power supply.

Launched in April 1990, Hubble has been orbiting the Earth for more than 31 years at an altitude of more than 500 kilometers. The device examined distant galaxies, among other things, giving scientists a better picture of the origin of the universe. The Hubble also took well-known pictures of distant nebulae. The last service was in 2009.

Burning in atmosphere

It is not known how long the instruments will last. If NASA abandons the space telescope, it could slowly fall out of orbit and eventually burn up in the atmosphere sometime in the next decade.

The successor to the Hubble should go to space in December. That’s the James Webb space telescope. It was built together by the United States, Europe and Canada. The James Webb can see even further and sharper than the Hubble.

The Hubble also had to be shut down in mid-June. Then the power supply to a computer on board the satellite failed. It took NASA a month to find the cause and the Hubble to switch to a backup power supply. Launched in April 1990, Hubble has been in orbit for more than 31 years, at an altitude of more than 500 kilometers. The device examined distant galaxies, among other things, giving scientists a better picture of the origin of the universe. The Hubble also took well-known pictures of distant nebulae. The last maintenance service dates from 2009. It is not known how long the instruments will last. If NASA abandons the space telescope, it could slowly sink out of its orbit sometime in the next decade and eventually burn up in the atmosphere. The Hubble successor is due to go to space in December. That’s the James Webb space telescope. It was built together by the United States, Europe and Canada. The James Webb can see even further and sharper than the Hubble.