With the last of strength: how much is left of the Hubble Space Telescope?

With the last of strength: how much is left of the Hubble Space Telescope?

Despite recent problems, engineers expect at least 5 more years from the Hubble Space Telescope. Chances are good that it will last until the mid 2020s. Recall that on January 8, there was a problem with the wide-angle camera 3 (WFC3). A reboot should help, but if this does not happen, then there is a spare electronics.

Scientific array

After the launch in 1990, scientists were waiting for the first blow - a defect in the main mirror, because of which the photos were fuzzy. Fortunately, the telescope was designed with the possibility of maintenance. Therefore, the team of astronauts solved the problems, so that Hubble pleases us with high-quality images for over 25 years.

With the last of strength: how much is left of the Hubble Space Telescope?

The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, should work until 2025

Where does such a life expectancy come from? The fact is that the astronauts completed several missions for maintenance and replacement of parts, the last of which was carried out in 2009. In the final update, completely new instruments were installed (COS spectrograph and WFC3 camera). The fourth mission also carried out repairs on two other tools - an advanced ACS camera and a STIS spectrograph. In addition, we replaced 18-year-old batteries, installed 6 new gyroscopes (responsible for orientation in space), and added a new guidance system. Also, the astronauts covered the instrument compartments with insulating panels and installed a device that would allow the observatory to be sent down at the end of the mission. A decade later, WFC3 and COS still have backup systems in space, which will extend their lifespan. ACS and STIS are older, but they are expected to work for a long time at a reliability level of 80%.

Hubble’s age had to be recalled at the end of 2018, when one of the gyros went out of order. Engineers managed to cope without moving to a backup system. Scientists report that the telescope’s orbit will remain stable until the 2030s. At the very end, the Hubble will collapse into the earth's atmosphere and burn.

Now WFC3 is still not functioning, but the other three devices perfectly cope with the tasks. So the exploration of the universe continues.

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