Space telescope spends 15 days in ‘safe mode’ due to software glitch

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After a year wandering through space, the James Webb Telescope from NASA has begun to give problems. Since December 7, the spacecraft has been going in and out of ‘safe mode’Although science operations resumed early last week, as communicated the American agency.

The Webb’s ‘safe mode’ causes the telescope’s non-essential systems to shut down, so the equipment from the earth he had to halt his investigations until the problem was solved. NASA did not report the problems they were having until they were resolved and, now, they assure that “the telescope and its instruments are in good health.”

The agency statement explains that “software fault was activated in the attitude control system”, which is one of the devices that guides where the telescope points. Because of the problem, Webb could not continue with its observations and the researchers did not continue their scientific activity until a week ago and have had to reprogram their instruments.

Throughout Webb’s journey through the cosmos, he has captured infrared and near-infrared images of impressive places in the Universe thousands to millions of light-years from Earth, such as the Pillars of Creation wave Tarantula Nebula. After the break of several days, NASA has shown a new photograph: an image of the spiral galaxy NGC 7469which is 220 million light-years away.

The photograph of the spiral galaxy NGC 7469 captured by James Webb.
The photograph of the spiral galaxy NGC 7469 captured by James Webb.
ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, AS Evans

Now that the POT has been able to resume its scientific operations, they will be able to continue exploring the Universe to solve unknowns that science has been considering for a long time, such as the origin of the oldest lights, how the first galaxies and stars arose and what was their evolution.

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