GALEX Status Update

November 27, 2007


The far-ultraviolet detector on the Galaxy Evolution Explorer experienced an overcurrent condition on Saturday Nov. 17, and was shut off by the instrument's on-board fault protection. The on-board near-ultraviolet detector continues to operate normally.

Project team members have concluded the far-ultraviolet detector exhibited a "slow" overcurrent condition, similar to that which occurred in early 2006. The cause is believed to be a short within the detector's microchannel plate stack.

The project has begun recovery actions following the procedure established in the 2006 recovery. The recovery technique, called "hi-potting," involves cycling the detector on and off at progressively higher voltage. The recovery actions are expected to take a few weeks to complete.

Four-and-a-half years after launch, the spacecraft continues to return images and other data leading to new insights into the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars.