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Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:46 am
by zanl188
Computer suffered a problem a week ago. Backup computer is available but, as of 18 Jun, had not yet been tried.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... -telescope

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:45 am
by Francoflier
I hope they can get it back online, but I'm not sure how much life Hubble has in it anymore...

The JWST can't come soon enough.

I've always wondered whether a Crew Dragon could be sent to Hubble to perform repair missions (if they are even worth it at this stage). The lack of an airlock and robotic arm would probably restrict what could realistically be done. I'm not even sure a spacewalk-rated suit can fit through the hatch.
Still, if JWST fails for whatever reason (it is a rather high risk mission), it may be worth finding ways to give Hubble a new lease on life.

Maybe an Orion would be more suited to the task, but given the cost of an SLS launch, you're probably better off building and launching a brand new telescope...

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:39 am
by zanl188
I suspect only option for repair on orbit is SpaceX & Starship. Starship isn’t anywhere near ready.

Maybe backup computer will work.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:18 pm
by texl1649
We have a lot of keyhole satellites up there, and Hubble is essentially the same thing but pointed outward, from what I’ve read. I’d expect if it did suddenly fail that there could be discussions to launch an upgraded basic replacement. KH-11 and KH-12 with optics also by Perkin Elmer probably could be adapted, if NASA somehow wanted to move fast, to work. JWST is gonna be great I hope but it is amazing to me no direct successor to Hubble has ever been fabricated/considered.

https://www.universetoday.com/65458/spy ... ook-alike/

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/h ... s-spy.html

And before folks ask/comment about the cost, note that, again, supposedly/rumor is NASA was offered 2 for free that were ‘surplus’ for whatever reason.

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/spac ... satellite/

https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/01/n ... g-in-2018/

https://science.howstuffworks.com/question529.htm

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:33 am
by flyingturtle
texl1649 wrote:
And before folks ask/comment about the cost, note that, again, supposedly/rumor is NASA was offered 2 for free that were ‘surplus’ for whatever reason.


My understanding is that Nancy Grace Roman Telescope (formerly the WFIRST) makes use of that offered NRO material.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:33 am
by mxaxai
NASA appears confident that the backup computer can take over but are currently running diagnostics on the primary computer to understand what exactly went wrong.

If Hubble is indeed lost entirely, it would be easier to build a replacement than to launch a repair mission. Unlike in the past when a dedicated in-orbit servicing vehicle - the Space Shuttle - was readily available, you'd have to develop a robotic arm, an airlock and other systems from scratch to fit them to Dragon.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:19 pm
by ssteve
JWST doesn't really replace Hubble-- it's a different sort of instrument. Better, of course, but not a total replacement.

The 2021 proposed budget for NASA axed WFIRST and SOFIA-- haven't heard where that all went.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:57 pm
by texl1649
ssteve wrote:
JWST doesn't really replace Hubble-- it's a different sort of instrument. Better, of course, but not a total replacement.

The 2021 proposed budget for NASA axed WFIRST and SOFIA-- haven't heard where that all went.


Exactly. Presumably, the recent Bezos Bailout (aka ‘national team’ HLS award via legislation) is where some of those funds went.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:47 pm
by mxaxai
NGRST is in the FY2022 proposal, though it isn't a 100% replacement for Hubble. Hubble can observe the full visible spectrum and some UV while NGRST is limited to approx. 480 nm, which excludes blue, violet and UV light.

NASA once again wants to axe SOFIA, though. I disagree with NASA's assessment that JWST makes it redundant, though I suppose they need the money for crewed lunar missions and all the fancy planetary probes they recently announced.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:45 am
by kitplane01
texl1649 wrote:
We have a lot of keyhole satellites up there, and Hubble is essentially the same thing but pointed outward, from what I’ve read. I’d expect if it did suddenly fail that there could be discussions to launch an upgraded basic replacement. KH-11 and KH-12 with optics also by Perkin Elmer probably could be adapted, if NASA somehow wanted to move fast, to work. JWST is gonna be great I hope but it is amazing to me no direct successor to Hubble has ever been fabricated/considered.

https://www.universetoday.com/65458/spy ... ook-alike/

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/h ... s-spy.html

And before folks ask/comment about the cost, note that, again, supposedly/rumor is NASA was offered 2 for free that were ‘surplus’ for whatever reason.

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/spac ... satellite/

https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/01/n ... g-in-2018/

https://science.howstuffworks.com/question529.htm


The Hubble has very good spectrographic capabilities, which are really really important in astronomy, but not for spy satellites. It's not really enough to just take pretty pictures any more.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:09 pm
by Nomadd
I knew this would happen when I threw out all my old 486 boards.

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:44 am
by zanl188
Successful switch to backup computer.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... telescope/

Re: Hubble - Payload Computer Problem

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:17 pm
by zanl188
Hubble back to science operations…

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... new-images