Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV) Update
After a quick detour into taking science observations, Hubble is back to alignment and calibration activities. Each instrument has a number of channels that detect and process different wavelengths. Some of these channels have been approved for science observations at this point, others are still works in progress.
- The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph's far-ultraviolet channel is now fully aligned, and calibrations have begun.
- Engineers resumed operations of the two remaining channels of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) this week. The instrument had been suspended due to a memory anomaly. STIS's far-ultraviolet and near-ultraviolet channels will begin internal calibrations. STIS's CCD channel, which is geared toward visible wavelengths, has already been approved for science observations.
- Calibration resumed on both channels of Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) after last week's unscheduled but successful foray into planetary imaging. The Jupiter impact observations caused a small delay in the calibration process, but nonetheless, WFC3 has begun taking its first official science observations, called the Early Release Observations.
- Engineers attempted to restart the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) cooling system, but it failed again after 12 hours. NICMOS was technically not part of Servicing Mission 4, but experts had decided to wait until after Servicing Mission 4 to turn the instrument back on after an anomaly caused it to go into "safe mode" in September 2008.
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)