The main camera of the Hubble Space Telescope is no longer functioning because of a hardware problem, NASA said on Wednesday.
Problems with the Wide Field Camera 3 began on Tuesday, forcing the telescope to use its other three active instruments to continue its scientific observations while the anomaly is investigated, the agency wrote.
NASA noted that the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed in 2009, includes redundant electronics that could be used to recover the instrument, but did not provide details of the problem or respond immediately to a comment request.
"It's when everyone gets a reminder about two crucial aspects of space exploration: 1) complex systems like @NASAHubble only work due to a dedicated team of incredible experts; 2) all space systems have finite lives and such problems are about to happen from time to time, "wrote Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, on a tweet.
The problem may not be solved for some time as NASA and other US federal agencies continue to feel the effects of the partial shutdown of the government as a result of President Donald Trump's and Congress's disagreement over funding its border wall, as noted by Space.com.
NASA has already tried to solve problems in the telescope by basically off and on again, but gave no indication that it would employ this classical approach at this time.
On Monday we saw an incredible image of the Triangulum galaxy, the second largest ever launched by Hubble.
What the NASA Kepler telescope sees: Helped amateurs identify an unusual new planet in a "Goldilocks zone".
What a NASA photographer sees: Also, as his camera was cooked in a rocket launch.