Many photographs of outer space have been taken over the years, but the really impressive ones have for the most part been taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. I have learned quite a bit about the telescope thanks to the two astronomy courses I have taken this year – it is a pretty amazing piece of engineering. Needless to say, I was a little worried when I read the headline “Hubble humbled by power failure” today. Fortunately, the news isn’t that bad (and it’s a few days old too):
The main camera aboard the Hubble Space Telescope has stopped functioning due to a short circuit, NASA announced Monday.
A previously planned service mission on the Hubble to install a completely new camera was already scheduled for September 2008. The new camera, currently called the Wide Field Camera 3, will replace the downed WFPC2 and prove more powerful than the ACS was in most ways…
So it’s not really in trouble. Though I suppose the scientists won’t be happy about having to wait until next year to use the main camera. As a mere bystander I’m just happy that it is mostly operational and that it will continue to be able to bring us amazing photos and information.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24th, 1990 and will be replaced in 2013 by the James Webb Space Telescope.
Read: CNET News.com