The real time solar wind monitoring satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) which is located at the Sun-Earth L1 point is being kept in a safe hold at the moment. A glitch in its position system triggered the safe hold and that means it does not transmit any data back to Earth. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for DSCOVR.
In a statement issued on 30 September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that that it is working with NASA and an unnamed company on a software update to restore DSCOVR. “Engineers report that intermediate test results of the software fix have been positive and they expect it to be incorporated during the first quarter of calendar year 2020.”
DSCOVR has been in safe hold since 27 June, which is well over 3 months ago. With NOAA’s statement in mind we can conclude that we will likely be without DSCOVR for at least three more months. The much older Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite is now our primary source for real time solar wind data and will continue to be our primary source for the foreseeable feature. We wish the entire team working on the issue that plagues DSCOVR good luck with their progress and hope to see DSCOVR back online as soon as possible.