The Hubble Telescope lost its main instrument – Wide Field Camera 3 – due to an unspecified hardware problem. NASA engineers, however, are unlikely to address the satellite’s troubles immediately due to the government shutdown.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 stopped working on Tuesday, NASA tweeted. The telescope continues to work with other instruments while the “anomaly” is investigated.

The breakdown of the Wide Field Camera 3 might not have left Hubble without its main tool permanently, as the system has a back-up set of electronics which can be activated in case of a critical malfunction. So far, it remains unclear when (and if) the camera will be fixed. (RT)