29 January 2007

HST in Safe Mode

From an email to all Hubble users (I'm not one, but I got forwarded it) ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 20:10:51 -0500
From: Brett S. Blacker <blacker-AT-stsci.edu>
Subject: ACS anomaly and extension of HST Cycle 16 deadline

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.

ACS is currently the best camera on the HST. This is a big loss if it's down. *sigh* And wasn't it just repaired lately too? I hope it's a transient phenomenon. At least researchers are being allowed to revamp their proposals, as this happened less than 24 hours after a round of proposals were due.

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