NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory suffers camera glitch


NASA has temporarily shut down the camera of one of its space-based telescopes after a power problem. The Chandra X-ray Observatory’s camera eye, which has been studying very hot regions of the universe for more than two decades, has stalled. The space agency said the telescope encountered a power supply problem with its High-Resolution Camera (HRC) instrument on February 9. NASA scientists are now analyzing the problem and determining the appropriate response to get the observatory to work as quickly as possible.

Engineers working on the mission have paused science operations and put the four science instruments into safe mode. The Chandra X-ray Center director’s office issued an update on Twitter, saying the high-resolution camera was “operated after being discovered in an odd position”. It has been said in the notice that the reasons behind this are being investigated. Scientists are trying to restart operations early next week using a different instrument, called the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrograph, or ACIS.

The current disturbance is not the first time the X-ray Observatory has encountered a problem. In August 2020, a different anomaly caused the camera to stop working. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was originally designed to serve only five years but has been working for over two decades.