After more than a month's safe stay, the Hubble Space Telescope finally made an adjustment, and the observatory ceased operation on June 13, due to problems with the payload computer.
Hubble's getting old!
Hubble stopped work on Sunday, June 13, 2021, due to a problem with the payload computer, which is in the scientific instrument control and data processing unit. SI C&DH controls Hubble's scientific instruments. When the SI C&DH computer went off, the devices were automatically transferred to safe mode.
Further attempts to reboot and reset the computer and its back-up have unfortunately not been successful, but the information gathered during these maintenance works has enabled engineers to determine that the possible cause of the problem was the power control unit that is putting the power on the computer equipment.
Specifically, the PCU proposes a power regulator that provides a permanent power supply of five volts per computer with a payload and its memory. In this case, the secondary security system is responsible for detecting abnormal voltage levels. If the voltage falls below or exceeds the acceptable levels, this secondary circuit signals to the computer the payload that the voltage is off.
According to the Hubble team's analysis, either the pressure level of the regulator was here outside acceptable levels, or the secondary security system deteriorated over time to finally get stuck in this configuration.
Extension to 2030?
As the PCU could not be released from the ground, the team had to switch to the PCU reserve. These operations began on July 15, the next day NASA successfully activated the back-up computer system. On July 17, all of the telescope's scientific tools were fully activated. They would resume scientific observations after the calibration had been completed.
Astronomers remain optimistic that Hubble, who has contributed to some of the most important discoveries in our space, including accelerating the expansion of the universe, can continue to work until 2030.