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Hubble Telescope's Main Camera Shuts Down

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the always-on-the-fritz dept.

Space 131

anthemaniac writes " is reporting that the aging observatory's primary camera, the ACS, has been in safe mode since the weekend. From the article: 'An initial investigation indicates the camera has stopped functioning, and the input power feed to its Side B electronics package has failed.' The camera has shut down before and been revived."

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of course not (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806264) is reporting that the aging observatory's primary camera, the ACS, has been in safe mode since the weekend.

No wonder they can't contact it. Safe Mode doesn't support networking by default.

Re:of course not (1)

bjinatj (946918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809234)

Doesn't it run Linux? If not it should...

Re:of course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809620)

No networking you say? I'll do that tech support for the low price of $1.00. Sure beats getting taxed [] to death.

Hubble old 486 (-1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806268)

Hubble 486 cpu must finally gave out

It has nothing to do with Hubble's 486. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806374)

The summary clearly states that the article clearly states that the problem is with an input power feed, and not with the 486 used to control the cameras:

'An initial investigation indicates the camera has stopped functioning, and the input power feed to its Side B electronics package has failed.'

obligatory conspiracy post.... (1)

apl73 (306355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806302)

Wasn't the shuttle scheduled to do one-last service call on Hubble? This is despite NASA's foot-dragging
and originally deciding NOT to service it and just retire it.

Gee, if it's fried, then they can't do a normal maintenance and can save $100M on a launch....
And if it's just been told to "roll over and play dead"......

Re:obligatory conspiracy post.... (2, Insightful)

Mooga (789849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807116)

The Hubble is getting old.
I'm pretty sure they were going to stop servicing it.
The question is: Will they come up with a replacement or try to fix the Hubble again?
And would be cost effective to repair it again or has it's time finally come?

Re:obligatory conspiracy post.... (1)

btc9183 (570671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17810062)

I thought they already had a service launch scheduled for sometime soon...

From [] : "Hubble to be Serviced Again Administrator Michael Griffin's decision on October 31, 2006 to fly servicing mission SM4 in mid- to late-2008 will bring unique capabilities to Hubble in the form of two new science instruments, Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3. In addition, new gyros and batteries will extend Hubble's life through 2013."

Of course by then it may be too late...

Re:obligatory conspiracy post.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17807218)

Only problem with that is the same problem with the whole "government hides aliens" conspiracy... the hubble is *good* for nasa. The pictures it produces are far more interesting to common people (and congress people) then "well, this mission produces valuable information on the topography of a moon of saturn!"

People *like* pretty pictures and NASA knows it. They wouldn't kill hubble unless they had a new space telescope ready to go.

Re:obligatory conspiracy post.... (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808652)

They have the James Webb telescope due to launch in 6 years, but it's made to detect infra-red wavelenghts.

But it will give some very interesting pics anyway.

ACS is a serviceable part (4, Informative)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807754)

The Advanced Camera for Surveys wasn't installed until the third servicing mission in 2002. It's been problematic since then. If it can be installed on a spacewalk, it can be replaced on a spacewalk.

Also, the Hubble servicing mission has been approved. Barring some act of God or Congress, Atlantis will conduct this mission on STS-125 in May of 2008. The ACS was not on the itinerary for service, but it might still be possible to add it to the agenda or push back the mission date if need be. On the other hand, it might be possible to work around whatever problem caused the latest shutdown, the third according to Wikipedia.

I should point out the foot dragging was largely spurred on by calls for the retirement of the shuttle as soon as possible (even immediately) and some general hysteria following the Columbia incident (as opposed to the rational re-examination that also took place). There is also the issue of the cost, which is in the range of hundreds of millions and had not been provided for, and a difference of philosophy between O'Keefe (administrator until 2005) and Griffin (current admin). Mission development is fully provided for in 2007, and should be in the 2008 budget, too.

If Hubble was going to roll over and play dead, it should've done so back in mid-2005, before more money had been spent on the servicing mission.

What a huge POS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806364)

please NASA, for the love of Christ, deorbit this piece of shit before it turns into a huge hunk of space debris. Deorbit it while it is still functioning enough to receive the commands and perform the maneuver. Of course, knowing NASA, they'll wait too long and then there will have to be a manned mission to go up and fix the shit enough for a proper deorbit. Mark my words, folks.

Re:What a huge POS (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806460)

Truly spoken like an ignorant retard. Or a troll, in which case I'm falling for it. This "POS" is one of the greatest astronomical instrument ever devised, and has yielded enough data for years of study to come. There's a reason why scientist want to keep it around.

Re:What a huge POS (0, Redundant)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807278)

Are the mods sleeping today? Why does a response to a troll get modded a troll? Can someone at least take enough time to select the appropriate message to mod?

Re:What a huge POS (1, Insightful)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808706)

That's because if you mention a moderation category (such as Insightful) anywhere in your post, regardless of its relevance, it increases the chance of that post being modded as such.

Just outsource to China (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806566)

China (1, Insightful)

Lacrymator (842893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806734)

Hmm, did defunct Chinese weather satelite debris damage Hubble?..

Funny? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807040)

Say something serious, get scored funny.

China have a demonstrated ability to kill a satellite. Why not use this to get Hubble, or for that matter, any other satellite down?

NASA have proven their inability to produce the right transport for many jobs. The shuttle is woefully old, unreliable, expensive and inappropriate for many of the tasks it is used for. Likely much of the reason is that NASA is not a scienfici or engineering body, it is by its own name an **administration**. Rather than try do everything themselves or pork-barrel subcontractors, it can make a lot of sense to just outsource work to people who have cheaper technology.

Re:Funny? (3, Insightful)

Carmelbuck (921788) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807238)

China have a demonstrated ability to kill a satellite. Why not use this to get Hubble, or for that matter, any other satellite down?

Eh? In case you're actually serious about this, (a) The US demonstrated ASAT capability over 20 years ago, and (b) ASAT capability is completely irrelevant, as such attacks don't deorbit the satellite, but result in tens of thousands of pieces [] of debris that are dangerous to other satellites.

In any case, casting aspersions on NASA's ability based on Hubble is ridiculous, as it's been by any measure a spectacularly successful instrument, which even 17 years after launch has capabilities not matched by any foreseeable ground-based instruments (no, not even with adaptive optics) or by any planned space instrument.

Re:Funny? (4, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808186)

See, this is what happens when we do not fund our organizations sufficiently. They do the best with what they have.

I am still miffed after reading another story elsewhere about what we pay football coaches versus what we pay the president of the college.

We'll get what we pay for. Maybe the average American feels tougher football games are more important to our society than scientific research.

Most do not want to take the time to study science... but in the end, its the laws of nature ( applied science ) that will determine the temperature of my house, the operation of my car, and whether or not I eat. In short, my whole life is determined by my and other's knowledge of applying science.

Maybe pretty pictures of the stars isn't deemed particulary useful. The pictures are only the frosting. The important thing to me is gaining more and more understanding of materials and physics governing them. Technologies developed are useful for many things, especially medical and agricultural.

I feel that as an intelligent species, it behooves us to understand the universe around us and our place in it. By observing phenomena happening somewhere else, it will help us to intelligently react if it happens to us.

Re:Just outsource to China (1)

chaney (526944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809122)

NASA: You got missile in my satellite! China: ...

Re:What a huge POS (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806628)

why waste it in such a fashion. The shuttle is designed to retrieve it. how much could the smithsonian get for having that on display.

That would be a good thing for Nasa to do.

Re:What a huge POS (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807036)

I've heard that it was designed to be brought down by the Challanger, which was unfortuantly lost. The Challanger had a slightly larger cargo bay, so any other shuttle would have to be overhauled in order for it to fit.

Re:What a huge POS (2, Informative)

Carmelbuck (921788) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807292)

Since Hubble was orbited using Discovery, I doubt it.

Dave, I can't let you jeopardize the mission... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806372)

"According to NASA officials, the Hubble onboard computer reported an error with the Alpha-Echo 35 unit [] and called for a human to repair it."

close but no donut (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806400)

Microsoft will take a new approach toward mid-size companies it suspects of using unlicensed software, sending a series of letters culminating in a threat of legal action from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a company official said today. By involving the BSA, which is an advocate for copyright and intellectual property issues, Microsoft is hoping to "spark off the engagement" with its customers, said Ram Dhaliwal, Microsoft's licensing programs manager in the UK. "If they are using our software, we are simply going to ask them to pay for it," said Dhaliwal, whose group runs the company's Software Asset Management (SAM) programme. In the past, Microsoft contacted companies by phone or email and asked to come in and audit their software. Microsoft contends companies have an incentive to have legally licensed software, and its audit and asset management teams also can look for ways the company can save money, he said. Most companies comply, but up to 3 percent don't. Under the new programme, if Microsoft doesn't receive a response after 14 days, the company will send a succession of three "escalation" letters over three weeks. The last two letters warn the case could be turned over the BSA, which could pursue legal action, Dhaliwal said. Microsoft is targeting companies with around 250 PCs in the initiative. Companies of that size often have problems with using incorrectly licensed and counterfeit software, Dhaliwal said. Microsoft keeps purchase records for volume-licence customers, and those lists can reveal usage inconsistencies, Dhaliwal said. For example, a company with 250 PCs may be flagged if it bought several server licences but only two client-access licences, which are required to connect desktops to an Exchange email server. "At that point, if the customer point blank is refusing and or telling us he doesn't want to talk with us and we are seeing this large discrepancy, that's when we will engage the BSA," Dhaliwal said. The BSA has 100 piracy investigations ongoing against UK businesses, it said last month. Some 27 percent of the software used by UK businesses is illegal, the BSA said, citing statistics from market analyst IDC. So far, Microsoft will use the new approach only in the UK, Dhaliwal said. Jackson at the Brit Awards in 1996. At the 1996 Brit Awards, Jackson performed the track "Earth Song", dressed in white and surrounded by children and an actor portraying a Rabbi. In an attempt to recreate a scene from the video - where he is spreading his arms between two trees - it seemed that Jackson was making Christ-like poses whilst being lifted into the air by a crane with a wind machine blowing back his hair. Pulp lead singer Jarvis Cocker and his friend Peter Mansell mounted a stage invasion in protest. Cocker leapt onstage, pretended to expose his rear, danced and sat back down. In response to the ensuing media scrutiny of the action, Cocker responded, "My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing... I just ran on the stage and showed off... All I was trying to do was make a point and do something that lots of other people would have loved to have done if only they'd dared."[40] Cocker received vocal support from the British press: the March 2, 1996 edition of Melody Maker, for example, suggested Cocker should be knighted, while Noel Gallagher claimed "Jarvis Cocker is a star and he should be given MBE." Gallagher said of Jackson's behavior: "for Michael Jackson to come over to this country after what's all gone on - and I think we all know what I'm talking about here - to dress in a white robe, right, thinking he's the Messiah - I mean who does he think he is? Me?"[41] The cover of Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. In 1997, Jackson released an album of new material with remixes of hit singles from HIStory titled Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.[37] The album's five original songs were named "Blood On The Dance Floor", "Is It Scary?", "Ghosts", "Superfly Sister" and "Morphine". Of the new songs, three were released globally: the title track, "Ghosts", and "Is It Scary?". The title track reached number-one in the UK. The singles "Ghosts" and "Is It Scary" were based on a film created by Jackson called "Ghosts".[42] The short film, written by Michael Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston, features many special effects and dance moves choreographed to original music written by Michael Jackson.[43] The music video for "Ghosts" is over 35 minutes long and is currently the Worlds Longest Music Video.[44] Jackson dedicated the album to Elton John, who reportedly helped him through his addiction to painkillers, notably morphine. In 1998 Jackson reached an out-of-court settlement with the Daily Mirror, which apologized for having described his face as "hideously disfigured and scarred." Steven Hoefflin, a high-profile Hollywood plastic surgeon alleged to have operated on Jackson's nose was, according to the press, also advising him against further surgery.[26] 2001-2003: Invincible, Berlin and Martin Bashir Main articles: Invincible (album) and Living with Michael Jackson In October 2001, Invincible was released[45] and debuted at number-one in thirteen countries.[33] The singles released from the album include "You Rock My World", "Cry", and "Butterflies". Jackson and 35 other artists recorded a charity benefit single entitled "What More Can I Give" which was never released. Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, that he was not going to renew his contract;[31] the contract was about to expire in terms of supplying the label with albums of full-new material for release through Epic Records/SME. In 2002, all singles releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were cancelled. As a result of this, Jackson made allegations about Mottola not supporting its African American artists.[31] Jackson referred to Mottola as a "devil" and a "racist" who used black artists for his own personal gain.[31] He cited that Mottola called Jackson's colleague Irv Gotti a "fat nigger."[46][47] Sony issued a statement stating that they found the allegations strange, since Mottola was once married to biracial pop star Mariah Carey. Carey herself seemed nonchalant about Jackson's claims when asked about them by Larry King on Larry King Live.[48] On September 7 and September 10, 2001, Jackson organised a special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden for his 30th year of being a solo artist. Later, the show aired on November 13, 2001.[45] It featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, Billy Gilman, Shaggy, Rayvon, Rikrok, Destiny's Child, Monica, Deborah Cox, Rah Digga, Tamia, James Ingram, Gloria Estefan, 98 Degrees, Luther Vandross, Liza Minnelli, Lil' Romeo, Master P, 'N Sync, the Jacksons and Slash.[49] In late 2002, Jackson's Heal the World Foundation had net assets of just $3,542 and reported $2,585 in expenses, mostly for "management fees." The foundation has been suspended in California since April 2002 for failing to file annual statements required of tax-exempt organizations, said John Barrett, spokesman for the state Franchise Tax Board.[50] Michael Jackson holding his youngest son over a balcony railing. In November 2002, Jackson travelled to Berlin to accept an award for his humanitarian efforts. He was surrounded by fans outside his room at the Hotel Adlon who were chanting in approval of the singer. According to the pop star, they also called out to see his baby. In response, Jackson brought his son onto the balcony, holding him in his right arm with a towel over the baby's head, apparently to protect his identity. Jackson briefly extended the baby over the railing of the balcony. This raised concern as some perceived his actions as child endangerment. Jackson quickly returned the child to the room. After watching media coverage of the Berlin event, a California attorney and radio talk show host, Gloria Allred, wrote a letter to California's Child Protective Services, asking for an investigation into the safety of Jackson's children. She also spoke on CNN about the subject. Child Protective Services does not make their investigations public, so it is not known whether any action was taken as a result of Allred's letter. When a reporter asked Jackson what he thought of Allred's complaints, he remarked "Ah, tell her to go to hell."[51] In the documentary Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson said that the media was wrong in their comments about him being irresponsible with his children, "I love my children", he explained. "I was holding my son tight. Why would I throw a baby off the balcony? That's the dumbest, stupidest story I ever heard." In February 2003, a controversial documentary titled Living with Michael Jackson aired in the UK (on the 3rd) and in the US (on the 6th). The documentary included interviews with Jackson which included information on his private life.[52] British journalist Martin Bashir and his film crew filmed Jackson for 18 months, also capturing his controversial behavior in Berlin. One particular part of the documentary, which stirred controversy and raised a significant level of concern, showed Jackson holding hands with a then 13-year-old cancer victim Gavin Arviso, and admitting to sharing his bedroom with him (but not in the same bed) as well as sharing his bed (non-sexually) with other children. Jackson felt betrayed by Bashir and complained that the film gives a distorted picture.[53] In response to the media scrutiny, two specials were aired: Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See and Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies.[54] Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See which aired later in February showed uncut footage of the Living with Michael Jackson documentary. The Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies aired in April was a 2-hour special with footage of Michael Jackson's home videos and included commentary by Jackson. In June 2003, Jackson's friend, actor Marlon Brando, signed a half-acre plot of land on his island Tetiaroa to Jackson, in gratitude for Jackson hosting a party for Brando's daughter, Nina, then aged 13.[55] Also in 2003, Jackson announced that he was working on, Resurrection,[56] a follow-up album to Invincible. It was also revealed that Jackson had made a 'mini-movie' to promote the album. In the movie, Jackson played a man who is resurrected. In March 2003, "Xscape" was released onto the radio, with many believing that this would be the first single off Jackson's new album. The album was shelved for unknown reasons and was replaced by Number Ones. 2003-2006: Trial, acquittal and the aftermath Main articles: People v. Jackson, Post trial lawsuits against Michael Jackson, and I Have This Dream In November 2003, Michael Jackson and Sony Records released a compilation of his number-one hits on CD and DVD titled Number Ones. The compilation has sold over six million copies worldwide.[57] On the album's scheduled release date, while Michael Jackson was in Las Vegas filming the video for "One More Chance" (the only new song included in the Number Ones compilation), the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department searched the Neverland Ranch and issued an arrest warrant for Jackson on charges of new child molestation.[58] Jackson was accused of sexual abuse by Gavin Arviso, who appeared in the Living with Michael Jackson documentary earlier that year. The allegations later led to a trial in which Jackson was found not guilty of all charges.[59] On December 17, 2003, there were media reports that Jackson converted to the Nation of Islam.[60] Later, in 2005, it was also reported that he built a mosque on land adjoining the Bahraini royal family's home.[61] Jackson in 2003, during his arrest on child molestation charges. Marlon Brando informed Jackson on February 8, 2004 that the declarations made by Jordy Chandler relating to the 1993 child molestation allegations had been published on the internet site The Smoking Gun. This happened when Jackson was about to start an interview with journalist Ed Bradley for 60 Minutes. Jackson immediately left the studio and did not conduct the interview.[62] Jackson also attended Brando's memorial service in 2004 along with Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty. Also on August 6, 2004, Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story debuted on VH1 starring Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson.[63] Rapper Eminem parodied new allegations raised against Jackson by Gavin Arviso in his music video for "Just Lose It" in 2004. The clip caused controversy and fueled Jackson to make a statement. The People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California on January 31, 2005 and lasted until the end of May 2005. On June 10, Jackson's PR, Raymone Bain was reportedly fired.[64] Jackson's now-defunct website cited that "MJJ Productions regretfully announces the termination of Raymone Bain and Davis, Bain and Associates. We thank you for your services." Bain later told the Associated Press that she had not been fired and that only Michael Jackson, not his production company (operated at the time by his brother, Randy Jackson), could fire her.[65] Bain continues releasing press statements and answering media enquiries on behalf of Michael Jackson, and was named general manager of the Michael Jackson Company, Inc. on June 27, 2006.[66] On June 13, Jackson was acquitted of all ten charges, including four additional lesser ones. CNN later reported that one of the jurors, Ray Hultman, believed he had committed child sex crimes in the past but there was not enough evidence to prove it,[67] and he and another juror announced impending books on their experiences in the trial. In September 2005, it was reported that Ray Hultman took legal action against the publisher of his book about experiences in the trial, claiming heavy portions were plagiarized from a Vanity Fair article. Hultman also stated he felt "threatened" by the jury foreman Paul Rodriguez and regretted acquitting Jackson.[68] After being acquitted of the child molestation charges, Jackson relocated to the Gulf island of Bahrain, where he reportedly bought a house formerly owned by a Bahrain MP.[69] Jackson allegedly spent his time in the Gulf writing new music, including a charity single dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina entitled, "I Have This Dream". Ciara, Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, Keyshia Cole, James Ingram, Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine, Shanice, the Reverend Shirley Caesar and The O'Jays all reportedly lent their voices to the charity song. After many delays, the single was not released, despite being announced on September 13, 2005. At the time, Jackson's spokesperson Raymone Bain said the list included Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, James Brown and Lenny Kravitz. It later appeared that these artists were no longer participating.[70] The charity single remains unreleased. In 2006, allegations of sexual assault were made against Jackson by a man who claims Michael Jackson molested him, intoxicated him with drugs and alcohol, and forced him to undergo unnecessary cosmetic surgery. Michael Jackson's lawyer Thomas Mesereau, who successfully defended him against allegations of child molestation in 2005, said "the charges are ridiculous on their face. They will be vigorously defended."[71] 2006-present: Visionary, Tokyo and the World Music Awards In February 2006, Jackson's label released Visionary: The Video Singles, a box set made up of twenty of his biggest hit singles, each of which were issued individually week by week over a five-month period.[72] The Visionary box set. An appeals court ruled on February 15, that a lower court improperly terminated Deborah Rowe's parental rights to her two children with pop star Michael Jackson, opening the door to a possible custody battle between the singer and his ex-wife.[73] The retired judge, Steven M. Lachs, acknowledged in 2004 that he failed to have state officials do an independent investigation into what was in the best interests of the children.[74][75] As of September 29, 2006, the case has reportedly been settled according to the lawyers representing each party. On March 9, 2006, California state labor officials closed the singer's Neverland Ranch and fined him $69,000 for failure to provide employment insurance. The state "stop order" bars Jackson from "using any employee labor" until he secured required workers' compensation insurance. In addition to being fined $1,000 for each of his 69 workers, Jackson is liable for up to 10 days pay for those employees who now are no longer allowed to report to Neverland for work.[76] Thirty Neverland employees have also sued Jackson for $306,000 in unpaid wages.[77] Soon after this payment, Jackson's spokesperson announced on March 16, 2006 that Jackson was closing his house at Neverland and had laid off some of the employees but added that reports of the closing of the entire ranch were inaccurate.[78] There have been many reports of a possible sale of Neverland, but nothing tangible has been reported yet. Michael Jackson with his daughter Paris Katherine at Disneyland Paris, June 18, 2006. In a move named by Jackson's advisors as "refinancing," it was announced on April 14, 2006 that Jackson had struck a deal with Sony and Fortress Investments. In the deal Sony may be allowed to take control of half of Jackson's 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing (worth an estimated $1 billion) which Jackson co-owns. Jackson would be left with 25% of the catalogue, with the rest belonging to Sony. In exchange, Sony negotiated with a loans company on behalf of Jackson. Jackson's $200m in loans were due in December 2005 and were secured on the catalogue. Jackson failed to pay and the Bank of America sold them to Fortress Investments, a company dealing in distressed loans. However, Jackson hasn't as yet sold any of the remainder of his stake. The possible purchase by Sony of 25% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a conditional option; it is assumed the singer will try to avoid having to sell part of the catalogue of songs including material by other artists such as Bob Dylan and Destiny's Child. As another part of the deal Jackson was given a new $300 million loan, and a lower interest rate on the old loan to match the original Bank of America rate. When the loan was sold to Fortress Investments they increased the interest rate to 20%.[79] None of the details are officially confirmed. An advisor to Jackson, however, did publicly announce he had "restructured his finances with the assistance of Sony."[80] On April 18, 2006, Michael Jackson signed a management deal with English music producer Guy Holmes. Holmes is the recently appointed CEO of Two Seas Records, with whom Jackson has signed a recording contract for one album. The album is set for a fall 2007 release.[81] On May 27, 2006, Michael Jackson accepted a Legend Award at MTV Japan's VMA Awards in Tokyo. It was his first major public appearance since being found not guilty in his child molestation trial almost a year earlier. The award honors his influence and impact on music videos in the last 25 years. Following the award ceremony, Jackson also made an appearance on SMAPxSMAP.[82] In 2006, F. Marc Schaffel, a former associate of Jackson, filed a suit for millions of dollars allegedly owed to him after working with Jackson on an unreleased charity record named "What More Can I Give" and documentaries. Florida businessman Alvin Malnik, who had advised Jackson, appeared in court and stated that Jackson appeared to be bewildered by financial matters. Schaffel claimed to have made frequent loans to the singer totaling between $7 million and $10 million. Schaffel had received an urgent plea from Jackson for $1 million so that Jackson could buy jewelry for Elizabeth Taylor so that she would agree to sign a release for her involvement in a Fox special.[83] These court proceedings also brought to light unsuccessful projects planned with the actor Marlon Brando, including a dual interview at the actor's private island near Tahiti, and a DVD on acting.[83] Brando's son Miko Brando, a long time bodyguard and assistant to Jackson stated "The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time... was with Michael Jackson." "He loved it... [He] had a 24-hour chef, 24-hour security, 24-hour help, 24-hour kitchen, 24-hour maid service."[84] Michael Jackson with his children, Paris Katherine (center) and Prince Michael I (right) at Disneyland Paris, June 18, 2006. On July 14, 2006, the jury awarded Schaffel $900,000 of the original $3.8 million he sued Jackson for, which Schaffel later reduced to $1.6 million, and finally to $1.4 million.[85] The jury also awarded Jackson $200,000 plus interest of the $660,000 that Jackson claimed he was owed by Schaffel. The trial revealed that Schaffel had been dismissed after Jackson learned of his past work as a director of gay pornography. Schaffel claimed that Jackson "once wanted him to go to Brazil to find boys for him to adopt. He later modified that statement to "children" to expand Jackson's family."[86] Jackson's lawyer Thomas Mundell said that he had never heard the allegation during the pre-trial investigation and that "it was an effort to smear Mr Jackson with a remark that could be interpreted to hurt him in light of the case against him last year."[87] On July 31, 2006, a federal judge allowed a $48 million claim against Jackson and one of Jackson's trusts for unpaid fees and breach of contract. All parties were ordered to reappear in court in September.[88] On November 2 and November 3, 2006, Access Hollywood aired a special Michael Jackson in Ireland which showed Jackson and of The Black Eyed Peas in the process of recording Jackson's new album.[89] Michael Jackson performing "We are the World" at the 2006 World Music Awards. On November 14, 2006, Sony officially released the Visionary box set.[90] He also visited the London office of the Guinness World Records. There, he received eight awards: "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time", "Youngest Vocalist to Top the US Singles Charts" (at the age of 11 as part of the Jackson Five), "First Vocalist to Enter the US Singles Chart at Number One" (for "You Are Not Alone"), "First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 million Dollars in a Year", "Highest Paid Entertainer of All Time" ($125 in 1989), "First Entertainer to Sell More Than 100 Million Albums Outside the US", "Most Weeks at the Top of the US Albums Chart" (for the album Thriller) and "Most Successful Music Video" (for the music video Thriller).[91] On November 15, 2006, Michael Jackson received the Diamond Award, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. This was his second public appearance at an awards show since the trial of 2005.[92] Despite substantial publicity prior to the event,[93][94][95] he did not perform "Thriller", limiting his performance to "one verse and one chorus" of "We are the World".[96] Coverage of the event noted that Jackson "looked uncomfortable at times" and called the appearance "an unhappy return to the London stage."[97] According to the head of public relations for the World Music Awards (Julius Just), the sound was cut due to a noise curfew. Officials at Earl's Court, the arena where the event was held, have said that this was not the case and that they had "accommodated the show and the show's organisers by obtaining an extension to our licence in order to allow the show to run to eleven o'clock."[98] On December 30, 2006, more than 8000 people including family, friends and fans of James Brown watched as several artists, including Jackson, paid tribute to the 'Godfather of Soul'.[99] Reverend Al Sharpton, who was close to Brown, delivered his sermon at the funeral, in which he stated that in the last conversation he had with Brown, he had said that artists like Jackson needed to continue to make positive music for all people.[99] In late 2006, a recording surfaced, entitled "Gangsta" (also known as "No Friend of Mine"). The song features vocals by Jackson.[100] On January 26, 2007, Jackson returned to the United States, having left Ireland. He mentioned plans of a pair of "fan appreciation events" in Japan, in March. One of the events, which was originally planned for Christmas 2006, will charge $3,300 for entrance. He explained the reason for chosing Japan: "My friends and fans in Japan have been so supportive of me and my family for many, many years."[101] In the third quarter of 2007, Jackson is expected to release a comeback album. There have been reports of collaborations with (of The Black Eyed Peas),[102] Teddy Riley,[103], DJ Whoo Kid,[103] Akon[102] , Chris Brown and 50 Cent.[102] Initially, it was thought that the Bahraini-based label Two Seas would release the album, but, in September 2006, it was made apparent that Jackson and Two Seas were no longer affiliated with each other.[104] Consequently, Jackson formed The Michael Jackson Company which will oversee both his finances and the release of his new album.[104] There may also be plans for a world tour to support the album.[105] Ernest Miller Hemingway Ernest Hemingway, 1950 Born: July 21, 1899 Oak Park, Illinois Died: July 2, 1961 Ketchum, Idaho Occupation(s): Writer and journalist Literary movement: The Lost Generation Influences: Gertrude Stein, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Pío Baroja, Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser Influenced: Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, Hunter S. Thompson, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, Douglas Coupland, Charles Bukowski Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. His distinctive writing style is characterized by economy and understatement and had a significant influence on the development of twentieth century fiction writing. Hemingway's protagonists are typically stoics, men who must show "grace under pressure." Many of his works are considered classics in the canon of American literature. Hemingway, nicknamed "Papa," was part of the 1920s expatriate community in Paris, as described in his memoir A Moveable Feast, and was known as part of "the Lost Generation," a name he popularized. He led a turbulent social life, was married four times, and allegedly had various romantic relationships during his lifetime. Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and the Sea. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. In 1961, he committed suicide by way of shotgun to the face. He was 61 years old. Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 World War I 3 Literary aftermath of WWI 3.1 First novels and other early works 4 Early critical interplay 5 Key West and the Spanish Civil War 6 The Forty-Nine Stories 7 For Whom the Bell Tolls 8 World War II and its aftermath 9 Later years 10 Suicide 11 Wives and descendants 12 Posthumous publications 13 Influence and legacy 13.1 Awards and honors 13.2 Hemingway in fiction, art, and song 14 Trivia 14.1 Works 14.1.1 Novels/novellas 14.1.2 Nonfiction 14.1.3 Short story collections 14.1.4 Movies based on Hemingway's works 14.2 Notes 14.3 References 14.4 External links Early life A baby picture, c. 1900 Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago (during his early life, the area in which Hemingway was born split from Cicero and became Oak Park) in 1902. Hemingway was the first son and the second of six children born to Clarence Edmonds ("Doctor Ed") and Grace Hall Hemingway. Hemingway's physician father attended the birth of Ernest and blew a horn on his front porch to announce to the neighbors that his wife had borne a baby boy. The Hemingways lived in a six-bedroom Victorian house built by Ernest's widowed maternal grandfather, Ernest Hall, an English immigrant and Civil War veteran who lived with the family. Hemingway was his namesake. Hemingway's neurotic mother had considerable talent and had once aspired to an opera career and earned money giving voice and music lessons. She was domineering and narrowly religious, mirroring the strict Protestant ethic of Oak Park, which Hemingway later said had "wide lawns and narrow minds."[1] His mother had wanted to bear twins, and when this did not happen, she dressed young Ernest and his sister Marcelline (eighteen months his senior) in similar clothes and with similar hairstyles, maintaining the pretense of the two children being "twins." Grace Hemingway perhaps further 'feminised' her son in his youth by calling him "Ernestine."[2] Though much is made of this by biographers, male infants and toddlers of the Victorian middle-class were often dressed as females. Many themes in Hemingway's work point to destructive interactions between male and female sexual partners (cf. "Hills Like White Elephants"), within marital unions (cf. "Now I Lay Me"), and among most other combinations of men and women (cf. The Sun Also Rises); in addition certain posthumously published pieces contain ambiguous treatment of gender roles. However, the connection between Hemingway's depiction of these human conditions and his own early childhood experiences is not presumptively established. While his mother hoped that her son would develop an interest in music, Hemingway adopted his father's outdoorsy interests of hunting, fishing, and camping in the woods and lakes of northern Michigan. The family owned a house called Windemere on Michigan's Walloon Lake and often spent summers vacationing there. These early experiences in close contact with nature would instill in Hemingway a lifelong passion for outdoor adventure and for living in remote or isolated areas. Ernest Hemingway attended Oak Park and River Forest High School from September, 1913 until graduation in June of 1917. He excelled both academically and athletically; he boxed, played football, and displayed particular talent in English classes. His first writing experience was writing for "Trapeze" and "Tabula" (the school's newspaper and original literary magazine, respectively) in his junior year, then serving as editor in his senior year. After high school, Hemingway did not want to go to college. Instead, at age eighteen, he began his writing career as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star (1917). Although he worked at the newspaper for only six months (October 17, 1917-April 30, 1918), throughout his lifetime he used the guidance from the Star's style guide as a foundation for his writing style: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative."[3] In 1999, the centennial year of Hemingway's birth, The Star named Hemingway its top reporter of the last hundred years. Some readers felt that this was more an honorary award than one actually earned on merit by the then young and short-term reporter. World War I

Can we trust NASA? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806408)

I think it's awfully convenient how the Hubble telescope's camera periodically "shuts down" like this. Could it be the Hubble saw something the government doesn't want us to see?

We need data feeds from taxpayer-funded equipment like the Hubble to be made freely available so that the public can make their own decisions about the information being gathered.

I'm inclined to trust NASA for the most part, but in this day and age, what with Habeas Corpus being eroded away, you can't be too careful.

Re:Can we trust NASA? (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806528)

Do you know what the Habeas Corpus usually means?

"Latin for a court petition which orders that a person being detained be produced before a judge for a hearing to decide whether the detention is lawful. Habeas corpus is a basic individual right against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment"

are you saying that NASA wants to unlawfully imprison you?

You keep using that word... (1)

insanarchist (921436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806740)

...I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Can we trust NASA? (4, Interesting)

teridon (139550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806902)

Dear Troll,

The HST Data Archive (HDA) [] has always been available to the public, albeit after a one-year "proprietary rights" period.

dear advanced computer user. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806942)

by "public data" he means 8mb JPGs with color and false color correction emailed to him at

Re:Can we trust NASA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806960)

What the heck makes you think that its 'convenient'? As an astronomer, I'd say it's freakin' inconvenient....

Safe Mode w/ Networking (-1, Redundant)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806410)

Just a suggestion: If they reboot into the boot menu and choose "Safe Mode with Networking" then the telescope might be able to authenticate into the domain and we'd be able to RDP into the optics and pwn it.

Just a suggestion.

They should just hit F8 on startup (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806416)

and choose "Last known good configuration."

Re:They should just hit F8 on startup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17807806)

Sounds like they tried a Vista upgrade and couldn't find the serial number.

Re:They should just hit F8 on startup (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809022)

You'd better hope that's a really good bluetooth keyboard.

"Aging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806430)

Well ya, it's aging. So is everything else in the universe, at the rate of one second per second. Geez I hate it when reporters use that word to make something sound old.

Re:"Aging" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806530)

Well ya, it's aging. So is everything else in the universe, at the rate of one second per second. Geez I hate it when reporters use that word to make something sound old.

Well, they could call it "Saging," but it would make it sound disgusting or offtopic to 4-channers.

Re:"Aging" (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806934)

futaba Sage = (slashcode)(-1, Offtopic);

Re:"Aging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17807386)

according to wikipedia [] it is sageing, such that it will enter the earth's atmosphere sometime after 2010, because it can't age unless it reboosts. did you see what i did there.

Re:"Aging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806766)

Ah... but in whose frame of reference?

Re:"Aging" (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808116)

at the rate of one second per second.

      Except for the stuff that is moving very very fast...

Re:"Aging" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17808190)

'Aging' doesn't mean "becoming older," it means "becoming old". Participial form of the transitive verb 'age', meaning "to become old".

Re:"Aging" (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808208)

Well ya, it's aging. So is everything else in the universe, at the rate of one second per second.

Actually, I thought that all depended on how close to the speed of light you're traveling.....

this was obvious (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806434)

Since they have already said that repair missions to the hubble scope are off the agenda, sooner or later its going to die. There are replacements on the way anyhow.

Personally I think they should boost it into higher orbit so it stays safe for future space archeologists. The same bods who will eventually be interested in retreiving the Viking missions, and who knows, if we get fast enough ships, the voyagers.

Re:this was obvious (3, Informative)

cbcanb (237883) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806728)

There's one more Hubble repair mission to come (planned for Atlantis's final flight).

And despite future spacecraft like JWST, none of the planned replacements will cover the UV range.

Re:this was obvious (2, Informative)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806862)

true, but there's not much will for that mission, one has already been cancelled, and I doubt this one will go ahead either

Re:this was obvious (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809236)

true, but there's not much will for that mission, one has already been cancelled, and I doubt this one will go ahead either

Yup, the Bush administration doesn't see much use in science and NASA has been hurting badly since, then again, the Bush administration isn't the only issue, given that ever since the last shuttle accident no one is willing to risk anything in the name of progress. There are certainly other space agencies around the planet that could work together to make a worthy successor to the Hublle Space Telescope, but I am not aware of anyone doing so.

I would be curious to know whether some of the new Earth based observatories give Hubble a run for its money?

Re:this was obvious (2, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809390)

I would be curious to know whether some of the new Earth based observatories give Hubble a run for its money?

New? Keep in mind that the top Earth based observatory, Keck, is 10-15 years old too. ;)

Oh, and with technology like adaptive optics, AO lasers and interferometry... yes, Keck (and others) can "give Hubble a run for its money" in some regards. Not across the board, though - no real UV capability, for example. Even up at Keck, there's still enough atmosphere over my head to ruin things.

*shakes fist and curses at atmosphere*

Re:this was obvious (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809342)

despite future spacecraft like JWST, none of the planned replacements will cover the UV range.

... and those are all future. JWST won't even launch until at least what, 2011? And it only does IR. TPF is even further away.

No (0, Redundant)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806456)

No biggie. Just F8 on startup

Oh No (0, Offtopic)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806558)

The Hubble is down?!?! How will Google Maps take more pictures??

power failure? (0, Offtopic)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806722)

Maybe they shouldn't have installed Sony batteries in the camera.

Oblig. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806756)

In Soviet Russia... they don't have cameras.

Soyuz and Shenzou for repair missions (1, Informative)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806762)

Assuming the space shuttle is retired after 2010, which seriously looks unlikely, how would they keep it alive? Soyuz and Shenzou are the only vehicles with air locks.

It looks like the space shuttle is going to be around long after 2010 and Hubble repairs may continue indefinitely. The appropriations for replacing the shuttle were finally canceled and there's too much voter pressure to fund low Earth orbit science.

The shuttle will be retired on schedule (3, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808020)

The parent is not informative, it is wrong, or at least out of date.

The Space Shuttle will be retired upon completion of the ISS. NASA will be taking steps over the coming years which would prevent almost any extension of the currently planned flight schedule, like reconfiguring launch pads to support the future vehicles, retiring shuttle craft as they complete their scheduled missions, caniballizing said vehicles for parts, and refraining from ordering parts like external tanks and solid rocket boosters which would be required to extend the schedule by even one flight.

The shuttle will cease operations regardless of the status of replacement vehicles. Although many planned technology programs intended to help replace the shuttle with a more reliable and cost effective system were cancelled over the years, NASA is currently pursuing a manned vehicle program, Orion [] which has not been cancelled.

Re:The shuttle will be retired on schedule (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808966)

I have some faith.

NASA has big cargo capacity in the ARES V heavy-lifter and a much smaller manned craft in the ARES I. There is not much for returning orbiting cargo, something the shuttle could do, but I suspect it is cheaper to strap a heat shield and parachutes on anything that need to go down in one piece.

ESA was also planning a cargo vehicle to replace the Progress ships.

Using the shuttle for both types of mission, crew and cargo, is terribly ineffective. It should have stopped long ago.

Yet, NASA still needs to develop some way to do orbital assembly for larger vehicles. I think even an ARES V can't haul a Mars-capable spaceship in one haul.

As for replacements to Hubble, I would love to have one installed near the first long-term settlement on the Moon.

Re:The shuttle will be retired on schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809702)

As for replacements to Hubble, I would love to have one installed near the first long-term settlement on the Moon.

...except for the fact that telescopes on the Martian surface will suffer many of the same challenges as telescopes on the Earth (with the notable exception of the thick layer of water vapor that hangs over our heads and makes astronomical observations difficult in the UV and Infrared). Martian dust storms will be a major issue. No, there are very good reasons to have telescopes in space.

Re:Soyuz and Shenzou for repair missions (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808198)

This should be modded down as you don't have any clue what you are talking about. STS will NOT be around after 2010. First there is the funding issue, then there is the parts issue...they don't make STS parts anymore! Specifically, the STS main engines can no longer be rebuilt and/or upgraded, the program to do that was cancelled several years ago. Rocket Engines don't last forever. The engines must be rebuilt every 5 or so launches or they risk losing 1 or more of them during a launch. If any systems break there are few spares and soon the other shuttles will be cannibilized to keep the most current one going. The other two will be Hanger Queens. There is funding (minimal) for the launches but not much for anything else. Why do you think NASA was so worried last launch that the shuttle may have landed at White Sands or Edwards costing NASA millions of bucks they dont have in he budget to get in back to the Cape for refurb/relaunch.

There is a shuttle replacement on the drawing board but don't expect that for a long time. ISS missions will be via Soyuz or by the new manned launcher NASA is building which will also power the Mission to Mars. After ISS is built and Hubble serviced one more time the Shuttle really doesn't have a role anymore and it should be retired. They were never meant to be flown this long anyhow. They have not exceeded the number of launches planned but have exceeded the lifetime plannned.

Re:Soyuz and Shenzou for repair missions (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808348)

By "Shuttle replacement" do you mean the Ares I? That should be active by 2015 or so, if NASA can keep the mometum for the program going.

*sigh* another incomplete /. (5, Informative)

Raynor (925006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806878)

RTFA: It was restored from safemode on Sunday -.-

They are hoping to switch it back over to the primary power supply and get limited usage until the shuttle gets there.

It's Cooked (5, Informative)

floateyedumpi (187299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806988)

It shorted, and burned enough plastic or wiring to trip the overpressure sensor (do wire shorts smell in space?). See this message from the Space Telescope Science Institute [] . Side A electronics are available which might be able to run a portion of the instrument. This has been expected since the first failure last summer, and "contingency" proposals are available to keep the observatory running using its other instruments (ACS has recently been the most used).

Re:It's Cooked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17808056)

Can't understand all these acronyms. Pictures please

Re:It's Cooked (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808224)

do wire shorts smell in space?

I don't think it matters where they are if they don't have a nose.

I'm so sorry for that.

Aren't the optics the valuable part? (2, Insightful)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807020)

We have a telescope in orbit that's servicable. It seems to me that the big, expensive part of this marvel would be the large optical reflector. Unless someone could point out a reason otherwise, would it not make sense to just keep making camera upgrades to put on the end of this thing? Yes, I realize that I may be oversimplying this procedure, but if it's not feasible to service it in the near future, is there something wrong with tucking it away in a safe orbit until it would become feasible...or clearly determine that the telescope has reached the end of its useful life and then de-orbit it?

Heck, if privatized, manned spaceflight is just around the corner, sell the silly thing to a private entity so they can fix it up and sell operating (viewing) time on it. Richard Branson and his ilk could have a field day with it.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (2, Insightful)

floateyedumpi (187299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807262)

A little budget math:

Total HST cost: $6 billion []

Yearly HST operations budget: $337 million []

Single servicing mission in 2008: $900 million []

I like Hubble a lot, but other missions [] which don't require (or allow) Shuttle service and cost on the order of $0.3-0.8 billion seem to me far more cost effective. The mirror is a tiny fraction of the cumulative operations costs.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807344)

Optics are the valuable part, but fuel is the trickiest part. If they can refuel HST, then in theory they could keep it up there forever. The problem is, as another reply mentioned, cost effectiveness--we have optical telescope arrays on the ground now that give us better images than Hubble's main camera.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808472)

Refuel what? HST does not have any rocket motors.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809432)

No rocket motors for attitude control, I saw upon further research. But none for stationkeeping, either? Every time the satellite moves a handful of meters outside its proper orbital station, someone has to up there and fix it? That has to suck.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809610)

Every time the satellite moves a handful of meters outside its proper orbital station, someone has to up there and fix it?

Huh? Hubble's orbit (one revolution around the Earth takes about 90 minutes) varies and degrades over the years, the degree of which depends on the solar cycle (thicker atmosphere, more drag). That's part of the reason why the shuttle is needed to boost HST's orbital altitude during every servicing mission. There is no station keeping in the sense that the telescope needs to be in the same orbital position relative to the Earth at all times.

Re:Aren't the optics the valuable part? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808788)

Yeah let's sell it to a bunch of geeks. All they'll do is turn it around and aim it at the nearest nude beach.

Poor old thing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17807032)

I guess they'll have to edit out the "Safe Mode" words in each corner of every picture it'll take from now on...

Hope they're in more than 16 colours!

Poor Hubble (0, Redundant)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807034)

the ACS, has been in safe mode since the weekend

Oh no, it runs Windows?!?

How is privatized better? (0, Offtopic)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807394)

How is Globeco Space Dynamics a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepsico-Halliburton-Virgin Atlantic-ELF Aquitane going to worry about some damn space telescope for a bunch of scientists who don't have any money? Are you guys high? Seriously

Picture quality (1, Funny)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807408)

As long as the photos don't come back at 640x480 in 8-bit color with a "safe mode" watermark in each corner...

Just not asking it right... (1)

Samuel Dravis (964810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807506)

Main camera turn on! Sorry. :P I hope it is fixable. Hubble is pretty cool.

What does that remind me of? (2, Funny)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807560)

Safe mode. Stopped functioning. Needs to be rebooted to make it work. Anyone for a game of word association?

At least it's in warranty! (2, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807776)


The ACS anomaly comes just two months before the instrument's projected five-year warranty expired, Hubble managers said. Spacewalking astronauts installed the camera on March 7, 2002 during NASA's STS-109 mission aboard the Columbia orbiter.

In all seriousness, though, it's worth noting that this camera is comparatively new (installed 12 years after launch) and that it's failed more or less on schedule. Too bad NASA doesn't plan on sending a mission until next year. Also worth noting is that it's not the only instrument on the telescope... though it is the one that takes the purty pictures that garner mainstream attention.

Why Keep it going? (1)

Juliemac (892781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808354)

None of the up coming space telescopes, nor anything on the ground can do what this machine can do. The new projects look for different things and the ground based systems can't look at a single point in space for a long duration image set. Check out this video, it blew me away:

Re:Why Keep it going? (2, Interesting)

Juliemac (892781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808548) Not included in the previous post

Re:Why Keep it going? (4, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809498)

ground based systems can't look at a single point in space for a long duration image set

Neither can Hubble. The Hubble Deep Field was pieced together from 10 nights of images. The newer Hubble Ultra Deep Field, from 11 nights.

Pretty much any half-decent-looking astronomical image you see is a combination of multiple exposures. I'm one of the operators of the 2.2-meter (that's slightly smaller than Hubble) telescope on Mauna Kea, and have been teaching myself the process of getting and combining images in different filters/wavelengths. For example, I made this shot of M76 [] from about a dozen exposures. (Using, incidentally, the same instrument that was used to discover the Kuiper Belt back in 1992.)

Just a data point.

Not a troll - legitimate point (0, Offtopic)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808372)

Having the datastream (raw, not the processed images), from NASA satellites freely available would eliminate any chance that they might try to "protect" us from something we may or may not be ready for. Chances are (and its 1000-1), that this has never occured, but honestly...if they DID see something strange, really strange, would they show us? The answer is they probably wouldn't, not unless we were "ready".

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (0, Troll)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808528)

Why should NASA waste millions of dollars, just to make a few nutters happy?

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (1)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808718)

Would it really cost millions?

The datastream comes down from the sats, into dishes, and then goes to various datacenters through their network.

Would it be that difficult to have a live stream for all the projects just like they have for SOHO and the like? It wouldn't JUST be for the nutters either - having the raw data available would allow universities, and other private entities to examine the data as well. The post-processed images are nice, but it would be nice to see the original information right off the sats.

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809326)

As opposed to spending 100 billion dollars blowing people up in Iraq?

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17808732)

If we saw weird shit, trust me it'll get leaked.

As for releasing unprocessed data, I don't mind but I'm not sure how useful that would be. I worked several months full time cleaning up some data before some geologists could make heads or tails of it.

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (2, Informative)

pq (42856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808834)

Here it is: the HST archive [] . You can download everything that is over a year old; proposers have exclusive rights for one year. Unfortunately, the data are really raw, so they won't be usable without packages like IRAF (PyRAF). Or were you not really making a legitimate point?

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (1)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808960)

I know for the most part when something isn't supposed to leak out - it doesn't.

Tell me there aren't incredibly illegal and unethical things done every day by otherwise good people under the guise of national security and the public good.

This certainly isn't the case here...they wouldn't need to shut down the telescope to obfuscate the truth of some global stability shattering images...but the possibility remains. I don't really see the point of having images paid for by the US government being subject to copy restictions for any amount of time, nor do I see the need for them to be held onto. I've never seen a reasoning anywhere - maybe someone can enlighten us as to why?

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (1)

bacon55 (853395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808984)

(thanks for the link I wasn't aware that they had this available)

Re:Not a troll - legitimate point (1)

pq (42856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17810134)

I don't really see the point of having images paid for by the US government being subject to copy restictions for any amount of time, nor do I see the need for them to be held onto. I've never seen a reasoning anywhere

Let me address this: space-based astronomy is incredibly competitive. We put a lot of effort into proposals, and student PhD projects take time. A proprietary period just gives the successful proposer a head start on the analysis of their data. If they can publish it in that time, well and good; if not, the wider community of astronomers will pounce on unpublished observations when the period expires.

There is certainly a case to be made for no proprietary period at all. For some very long observations, or for target of opportunity observations, the data do go public immediately. For the rest, well, having been a PhD student working on HST data once upon a time, I'd certainly have liked a longer proprietary period...

So basically, the proprietary period is a courtesy, not a conspiracy. And I have to say that, or the Grand Astronomer Cabal will take away my paycheck.

Email notice from STScI (3, Informative)

pq (42856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17808802)

For other astronomers who might get their news from slashdot before other sources:

HST entered inertial safe mode on Saturday January 27. Preliminary indications are that this event was associated with an ACS anomaly. GSFC and STScI engineers and scientists are still investigating the situation, but it appears unlikely that ACS CCD observations (both WFC and HRC) will be available in Cycle 16. Current indications are that ACS/SBC can be restored using operational workarounds, so observers should assume that the ACS/SBC configuration will be available in Cycle 16.

The formal Cycle 16 deadline was 8 pm EST on Friday Jan 26. We received a total of 747 proposals, including 498 to use ACS/WFC or ACS/HRC. The latter proposals are unlikely to be viable. In order to ensure that we accommodate the science areas covered by those programs, we are extending the HST Cycle 16 deadline.

We encourage Principal Investigators who submitted proposals for ACS observations with either WFC or HRC to consider whether those observations could be made with WFPC2.
The new deadline is Friday 9th Feb, extended from 26th Jan.

Jargon alert for non specialists: ACS = Advanced Camera for Surveys; WFC = Wide Field Camera; HRC = High Resolution Camera; SBC = Solar Blind Channel; CCD = charge coupled device; WFPC2 = Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (an older instrument); STScI = Space Telescope Science Institute; and GSFC = Goddard Space Flight Center.

Hubble tribute song (3, Funny)

Bifurcati (699683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17809486)

Seems like an appropriate time to post a parody I wrote recently. It's not really up to scratch, but you never know when you might need to sing a Hubble tribute! You can also find other physics songs and humour [] on my home page :)

Only Me (A Hubble Tribute)
To the tune of "Only you"
By Joel Gilmore, 2007

Looking at the sky up above
Taking photos with love,
Can you fix me?
Found out only yesterday,
my orbit's soon to decay
Can't you boost me?


All I needed was a manned space flight
All I needed for another night
Since 1993 -
only me.

If I lose one more gyroscope
I don't know if I'll cope,
Send Discovery!
Install Wide Field Camera 3,
Spectrograph, batteries,
My camera's dying!


All I needed was a manned space flight
All I needed for another night
Until James Webb, there'll be -
only ME!

Re:Hubble tribute song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17810114)

That works to the tune of Comfortably Numb too.

It is all about the swap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809742)

Most satellites have redundancy built in to them in order to have a back when i a main component fails. Take a communications satellite, if the signal amp dies a redundant one is available to be turned on by its earth based ground control using a series of complicated procedures. With something as unique and complicated as the Hubble it is no surprise that there is either no yet written procedure for how to do this or they want to diagnose what caused the failure to prevent it from happening to the auxiliary unit.

As to the planned shuttle service it may be that it include a fuel up to replenish the thruster fuel which possibly would have run out with the complicated positioning required to do some of its many studies of what is in space.

Re:It is all about the swap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809850)

Most satellites have redundancy built in to them in order to have a back when i a main component fails. Take a communications satellite, if the signal amp dies a redundant one is available to be turned on by its earth based ground control using a series of complicated procedures. With something as unique and complicated as the Hubble it is no surprise that there is either no yet written procedure for how to do this or they want to diagnose what caused the failure to prevent it from happening to the auxiliary unit.

There are indeed written procedures for bringing Hubble instruments back after a failure or a safe mode. Safe Modes on board Hubble have happened for various reasons over the years. And most of the HST imaging instruments do have back-up electronics on-board, the Advanced Camera for Surveys being one of them. Unfortunately, the primary ACS electronics failed earlier in 2006, and the decision was made to switch to the back-up electronics at that time. Now the back-up system has failed.

As to the planned shuttle service it may be that it include a fuel up to replenish the thruster fuel which possibly would have run out with the complicated positioning required to do some of its many studies of what is in space.

There are no thrusters on-board Hubble. Besides, hydrazine would be a major problem for the instruments and their optics.

The new, improved ACS is ready to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17809954)

The new ACS, with 4x pixels, has been sitting on a shelf ready to go for 4 years now.

The astronauts are already practicing the 6-hour job that will allow
them to fix STIS. It involves unscrewing 100+ non-captive
screws in micro-gravity, something that was never accounted for during
the original design.

it's not all bad news (5, Informative)

photontaker (1020241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17810226)

I work at STScI and it sounds like they're going to be able to switch ACS back to the side 1 power supply. Unfortunately, it means that the WFC which is the most used won't be working. A failure of the side 1 supply to WFC is why they had to switch to side 2 this summer.

The good news is that WFPC2 is still working even if it doesn't have the imaging area or sensitivity of ACS. The telescope allocation committee just re-opened applications for next cycle so lots of people are just going to switch their proposals from using ACS to using WFPC2 (myself included). As a side note: anyone can apply for telescope time since its run with taxpayer money. Just go to the site and fill out the form.

The other good news is that the servicing mission is going ahead for early 2008 when they're going to put in WFPC3 which is a bit better than ACS and will have much lower distortions and a great new spectrograph called COS. That'll take HST to the end of its life in 2013. At that point, the next space telescope, JWST, will be launched. In case you're wondering though, JWST will have a much shorter life since it won't be possible to service it.

So yeah, it sucks that ACS smoked itself but it's not the end of the world.
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