NASA's Hubble Space Telescope remains offline for over a week

The telescope has been offline due to an issue with the payload computer, which has resulted in the telescope's instruments going into "safe mode."

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been down for over a week, and it is unclear when the US space agency will have it up and running again.
The telescope, which has been used for astronomy to look into outer space since it was launched into low orbit over 30 years ago on April 25, 1990, is easily one of the most famous space telescopes in the world. However, it stopped properly functioning on June 13 due to an issue with the payload computer.
It is unclear why exactly the problem happened, and the operations team was investigating if it could have been the result of a degrading memory module.
After a failed attempt at restarting, the team prepared to switch to a backup module and then run an approximately 24-hour test to see if it could return to function.
The switch was set to take place on June 16. However, on June 18, NASA confirmed that the telescope's computer was still not functioning. The command initiating the backup module failed, and diagnostic attempts to bring the modules online were also unsuccessful.
The payload computer itself is meant to control and coordinate the various different instruments on the telescope. The halting of the payload computer means that the main computer didn't receive the proper "keep-alive" signal, which caused it to place all its instruments in safe mode.
Its technology dates back to the 1980s, when it was first constructed, and was last updated in 2009 during the last astronaut servicing mission.
While the telescope itself remains offline, NASA does still plan to launch another space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, later this year, which is set to advance further upon the revolutionary changes the Hubble telescope made to astronomy.