Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh No... Hubble is Sick!!!!

I had heard rumours that something was wrong but I didn’t know how bad it was. It is like hearing about a close and old friend that is now ailing. They live far away and have worked hard all their life but now the body is failing.

What am I referring to? Well it is someone – actually something – that has given us all new perspective of life and living, the past and the future. It is the Hubble Space Craft.

From the photos that have been taken of the galaxies throughout the universe we have witnessed some of the greatest wonders the mind can possibly take in. Personally I have so enjoyed the images that show me the hand print of God himself.

For others that may not be so caught up in God Stuff – it has opened new doors to their thinking. “Hubble” has touched us all in some way.

Even as I type that out I realize that it as a machine has actually taken on the status of a person. Hubble is the like a well liked, old family car with a name, that has carried everyone for a long time to many places across the map. The thought of trading it in is too hard to fathom.

I have known a farmer or two that have had tractors that meant that much and had a special shed was built just to house it.

On board the Hubble there are three gyroscopes that have failed. There are only two left functioning. These gyroscopes are the special pieces of equipment that steer/orient the Hubble craft. Without them it simply lays still in one spot and cannot function.

On board the Hubble the batteries are also ailing. After 18 years they are operating at half capacity. They need changing.

But the most difficult part was its loss of communication ability with the people back home. A glitch occurred in Hubble's 135-pound data-handling unit, which gathers and packages information from five main instruments for delivery to the ground.

Think of it as a kind of “machine stroke” where a small section vital to communication has broken and it cannot tell anyone down below what is going on, or what the Hubble is looking at.

Apparently it happened in the “Side A” instrument where the malfunction took place.
The engineers worked on the Hubble by sending signals and whatever else they can do from earth to activate “Side B” on the Hubble… and it worked. The 18 year old machine responded and Side B has taken over the work that Side A was doing for 18 years. The photo below shows the newest shot taken… a “Perfect 10”… with two galaxies lining up to form the number. Cool eh?

I can’t imagine the excitement of the crew down below when their old friend sparked back to life again.

According to what I read they had planned another launch of a Shuttle to take new parts/replacement parts up to the ailing Machine – on October 14. But when someone checked out the parts that had been set aside they weren’t working either. It seems that someone a few years ago had taken the replacement apart and didn’t finish the job. Then when they did get it together it didn’t handle signals properly. Now they have put that flight off until February 2009.

As the story unravels it is more and more like real life here on earth. It is like taking more really old car to the modern garage and they have no idea how to take it apart let alone have any parts for it.

It is even more like the old body that God gave us… failing… flailing… falling… and malfunctioning and the young doctor has no idea how to get it going again.

Hubble’s 18 year body is much like my body at 64 years old that has some of the parts failing also. Sometimes I wonder why they are still there in that they stopped working properly long ago… sheesh! (And there is no team of engineers working feverishly to kick start my stuff.)

I envy the Hubble in some ways.

But the story of the Hubble has another spin for me. It is all about relationships. Stuff happens and stuff breaks. And if there is a willingness to work hard and work together – it is possible to fix the broken pieces… and go on living.

A young couple that were married not long had a “Side A” failure. Communication within the marriage was clogged. As I analyzed what happened with them we found the source of the problem. We discovered the part that was broken… and then activated “Side B” to begin the communication again. I saw them not long ago – and they are doing very well.

When I go back to Hubble again… a team of engineers that are perhaps the best in the world helped, worked together, and together they saw the answer come.

Can you imagine what might happen if we did the same in all our relationships here on earth? WOW – what a difference it would make.

Unlike the Hubble with its team of engineers, we have God and his host of Angels looking after our well being.

You know… after all the “CRAP” is over and done… the sun is still shinning above the clouds.

I make an official proclamation today… for me…. “Today is the start of the rest of my life! – and it will be GOOD!”

The ideas are coming so fast and the information from outer space is so clear that my old computer can hardly handle it all. Wooooieee!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-sci-hubble31-2008oct31,0,4831438.story

1 comment:

Brenda said...

GOOD FOR YOU MURRAY!! It is a Beautiful day--& we know you will make the Best of it.Carve your heart out.
We stand with you.