Hubble camera stops working

Nasa engineers are desperately trying to discover why a camera has stopped working on the Hubble space telescope.

The orbiting eye has taken some of the most stunning pictures ever of the heavens. But it suddenly shut down last week and has so far failed to recover. Experts at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore believe that the Advanced Camera for Surveys has suffered a problem with its power supply.

If they are correct, they hope to be able to switch to an alternative electronics system and get it working again on Friday. Max Mutcheler, of the STScI, said the camera had stopped operating and put itself into so-called safe mode before but the problem was more serious this time.

The camera was installed on Hubble by astronauts in 2002 and has sent back spectacular images of the universe. Nasa has still not decided whether to spend money to service the space telescope. It needs new batteries and repairs to the gyroscopes that help it point itself the right way. Photo: Nasa.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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