The Hubble space telescope can temporarily not be used for research due to a computer crash, the American space agency NASA reported on Wednesday.

The problem arose on Sunday and it is not yet known when the problem has been resolved.

The crashed computer controls the scientific instruments on board the telescope and has been in use since the 1980s.

It is likely that a degraded memory module is the cause of the problem.

NASA switched to one of the backup modules on Wednesday.

That way the computer can run again for a while, so the space agency can determine whether the problem has been solved.

If this is the case, onboard equipment will need to be rebooted.

After that, the space telescope can be used again.