James Webb’s telescope stopped working due to a malfunction
(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb Space Telescope experienced a failure that negatively affected the scientific activities of the observatory.
James Webb was launched in December 2021 and became fully operational last July.
The $10 billion observatory has provided stunning images that have already tangibly changed our understanding of the cosmos.
However, on January 15, the observatory ground crew became frightened. According to a January 24 NASA blog post, the Near Infrared Imaging Telescope and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) instrument “experienced a communication delay within the instrument, causing its flight software to time out.”
NASA’s announcement confirms that NIRISS instruments are not currently used for science operations.
“There are no signs of any danger to the equipment, the observatory and other instruments are in good health,” the scientists say.
“Affected scientific observations will be rescheduled.”
NIRISS was developed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). NASA said it is working with the agency to resolve this issue.
NIRISS can function as a camera, although it can also be used to analyze light signatures to study exoplanets. It is also capable of high contrast imaging and can detect distant galaxies.
Two of Webb’s most important instruments, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI), were unaffected by the failure.
This is not the first failure in the space observatory. In August, NASA officials noticed that the wheel inside MIRI was showing signs of friction.
This wheel is used to switch the instrument to one of four modes, so NASA has suspended the use of this mode while continuing to observe MIRI in three other modes.
By November, NASA had found a solution to the problem, and now MIRI can operate in all four modes. In December, the James Webb telescope was put into safe mode several times.
His instruments were shutting down automatically due to a software glitch in the observatory’s attitude control system, which controls the telescope’s orientation.
On December 20, NASA announced that the problem had been resolved. On January 24, NASA announced a new problem.
It has been exactly a year since the telescope arrived at its final destination at Lagrange point 2, about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
Since then, the observatory has collected a huge amount of stunning images. Most importantly, he has collected a lot of new scientific data that will probably not be surpassed in the coming years.
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