Hubble Camera Power Glitch Fixed, NASA Announces

Richard A. Lovett
for National Geographic News
June 30, 2006

The Hubble Space Telescope's newest ultra-high-resolution camera is back in business, NASA managers announced this afternoon.

A problem with the power supply had kicked the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) off-line on June 19.

Engineers with the Hubble project traced the problem to the instrument's power supply.

Switching to a backup system this morning solved the glitch, and astronomers will be able to restart their scientific observations on Sunday.

"This is the best possible news," Ed Ruitberg, deputy associate director for the astrophysics division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a press release.

"We were confident we could work through the camera issue, and now we can get back to doing more incredible science with the camera."

On Hold

NASA announced the plan to switch to a backup system at a press briefing earlier this morning, calling the strategy the "best and safest" solution.

That's because there's not much that could have gone wrong even if the attempt had failed.

The ACS, installed in March 2002, includes three high-resolution detectors.

Only two, which function somewhat like wide-angle and zoom lenses, were directly affected by the power glitch.

The third detector, which looks at the universe in ultraviolet light, has different voltage needs and was unaffected.

Continued on Next Page >>


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