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NIRISS, Canada's instrument on Webb, returns to full operations

Artist conception of the James Webb Space Telescope

Credit: NASA

On , the James Webb Space Telescope's Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) experienced a communications delay within the instrument, causing its flight software to time out. Following a full investigation by NASA and Canadian Space Agency teams, the cause was determined to likely be a galactic cosmic ray, a form of high-energy radiation from outside our solar system that can sometimes disrupt electrical systems. Encountering cosmic rays is a normal and expected part of operating any spacecraft. Webb engineers determined that rebooting the instrument would bring it back to full functionality.

After completing the reboot, NIRISS telemetry data demonstrated normal timing, and to fully confirm, the team scheduled a test observation. On , the Webb team sent commands to the instrument to perform the observation, and the results confirmed on , that NIRISS is back to full scientific operations.

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