The infamous Hubble Telescope may have taken its last picture.
NASA has said the telescope, which has taken thousands of stellar pictures, has been shut-down and all astronomical viewing has been halted since Sunday.
On Monday, controllers at the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland tried and failed to get the computer to restart.
The blame is assigned to an 80s’-era memory unit which is installed, 548 kilometres up, on the orbiting camera platform.
The plan now is to switch to a back-up memory card, and, if that works, they will be able to reboot the telescope and other instruments in the coming days.
NASA plans to launch Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, in November. However, at an elevation of 1.5 million kilometres, and in a solar orbit, astronauts will not be able to do any tune-ups on the new, multi-billion dollar telescope.
Although the new telescope activation is years behind schedule, it is planned to launch from French Guiana, using Europe’s Ariane rocket in the future.
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