Hubble Telescope Instrument Out of Order

An instrument that helped the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope look at black holes, newly forming stars and far-off galaxies has broken down, and NASA said Monday it is looking at possible ways to fix it. The instrument, called the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, was installed in 1997 and was designed to operate for five years. But it may be possible to rescue some of its operations, NASA said.

The space agency said Hubble's other instruments -- the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer, the Advanced Camera for Surveys, and the Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 -- are all operating normally. NASA said an electrical malfunction may be to blame. A similar problem affected the instrument in 2001, forcing a switch to the backup side. Now the backup side has failed, NASA said.

News source: Reuters

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