Engineers restored the operation of the James Webb Telescope spectrograph

Engineers managed to restore normal operation of the NIRISS spectrograph installed on board the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This is stated in a message published on the NASA website.

The James Webb Telescope in the artist’s image. Source: ESA/ATG medialab

The James Webb Space Observatory is equipped with four main scientific instruments. One of them is the NIRISS slitless spectrograph. This device was built by the Canadian Space Agency, it is designed to take images and conduct spectrographic observations in the range from 0.8 to 5 microns.

Problems with NIRISS arose on January 15, 2023. The device encountered a communication delay, which led to a failure of its software. It took mission specialists almost two weeks to sort out the problem. As a result, it turned out that the reason for everything was the ingress of a charged particle into the electronics. After that, the tool was rebooted. On January 28, it performed trial observations. An analysis of their results showed that NIRISS fully restored its operability, after which the spectrograph resumed its scientific program.

It is worth noting that this is not the first technical problem in the work of JWST. In autumn, the telescope encountered the problem of increased friction in the bearings of the MIRI mid-infrared camera. And in December, JWST experienced a software failure that was responsible for the observatory’s orientation system, which caused it to switch to safe mode several times.

Earlier we wrote about how James Webb photographed a spiral galaxy a billion light-years from Earth.

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