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Computer Trouble Hits Hubble Space Telescope, Science Halted


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A view of the Hubble Space Telescope, from above

All astronomical viewing through the Hubble Space Telescope was halted by computer trouble, NASA said Wednesday.

Credit: European Southern Observatory

The Hubble Space Telescope has been hit with computer trouble, with all astronomical viewing halted, NASA said Wednesday.

The orbiting observatory has been idle since Sunday when a 1980s-era computer that controls the science instruments shut down, possibly because of a bad memory board.

Flight controllers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland tried to restart the computer Monday, but the same thing happened. They're now trying to switch to a backup memory unit. If that works, the telescope will be tested for a day, before the science instruments are turned back on and observations can resume.

For now, the cameras and other instruments are in a so-called safe mode.

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