Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hubble Trouble and Zenit Zapped

The Hubble Space Telescope's main instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) failed last Saturday and is unlikely to be returned to normal operations. The anomaly is under investigation, according to the NASA press release.

"It is too early to know what influences the ACS anomaly may have on Hubble Space
Telescope Servicing Mission-4 planning" said Preston Burch, associate
director/program manager for the Hubble Space Telescope. "It is important that
the review board conduct a thorough investigation that will allow us to
determine if there are any changes needed in the new instruments that will be
installed on the upcoming servicing mission so that we can be sure of maximizing
the telescope's scientific output. We are continuing to make excellent progress
in our preparations for the servicing mission, which is presently targeted to
fly in September 2008."

Meanwhile, a commercial launch went ary on its launch platform with the explosion of a SeaLaunch Zenit booster on Tuesday. Here's a YouTube video of the launch explosion.

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