Update On Hubble: It May Now Be A Week Or More, To Get The Latest Proposed Fix… Per Goddard

The third back up approach. . . apparently, is to switch on a CPU/computer that hasn’t been in operation for over a twelve years — since 2009. [Was dropped in, with the repair mission flown by the last shuttle team to visit Hubble.]

It seems the memory board issues are not the root cause of the problem, but likely only a symptom of a failure of its early-2000s gen CPU — that may well be the root cause. Here’s the latest update, from Goddard Space Center:

. . .NASA continues to work to resolve a problem with the Hubble Space Telescope payload computer that halted on June 13. After performing tests on several of the computer’s memory modules, the results indicate that a different piece of computer hardware may have caused the problem, with the memory errors being only a symptom. The operations team is investigating whether the Standard Interface (STINT) hardware, which bridges communications between the computer’s Central Processing Module (CPM) and other components, or the CPM itself is responsible for the issue.

The team is currently designing tests that will be run in the next few days to attempt to further isolate the problem and identify a potential solution. This step is important for determining what hardware is still working properly for future reference. If the problem with the payload computer can’t be fixed, the operations team will be prepared to switch to the STINT and CPM hardware onboard the backup payload computer.

The team has conducted ground tests and operations procedure reviews to verify all the commanding required to perform that switch on the spacecraft.If the backup payload computer’s CPM and STINT hardware is turned on, several days will be required to assess the computer performance and restore normal science operations. The backup computer has not been powered on since its installation in 2009; however, it was thoroughly tested on the ground prior to installation on the spacecraft. . . .

We will keep a weather eye, on that horizon. . . off grid for rest of day — a canyon hike, with my eldest, home for an extended visit. . . grinning ear to ear.


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