Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Hubble Space Telescope Withdrawn Offline Succeeding Gyroscope Collapse

Image    The Whirlpool Galaxy is one of the most famous images Hubble captured Image The Whirlpool Galaxy is one of the most famous images Hubble captured
Cary Marshall | 11 October, 2018, 03:25

That was unfortunate, as the telescope requires at least three functional gyroscopes for optimal use.

Osten also noted that the team has had a "very stressful weekend" and that the Hubble is now "in safe mode while we figure out what to do".

The Hubble Space Telescope entered into safe mode after experiencing a gyroscope failure, NASA has revealed.

The gyroscopes have a habit of burning out, hence their replacement many years back, but this most recent failure means that the telescope only has two functioning gyroscopes remaining.

Though three gyroscopes are ideal, the telescope can be used on only one.

Hubble has been orbiting Earth since 1990, and in those decades, it has overhauled our knowledge of the universe around us.

Hubble, which has been observing the heavens since 1990, went into a protective safe mode after another one of its orientation-maintaining gyroscopes failed, mission team members said Sunday night (Oct. 7).

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"The gyro that failed had been exhibiting end-of-life behavior for approximately a year, and its failure was not unexpected; two other gyros of the same type had already failed", NASA officials said in the statement. Another gyro failed. First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic'. The Hubble Space Telescope also uses three gyroscopes at a time for "maximum efficiency", but it can also still make scientific observations with one.

The telescope is now operating on two of these enhanced gyros.

"I think Hubble's in good hands right now, I really do", said Kenneth Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates Hubble. The space shuttle Atlantis' mission is to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope in order to extend its working life.

Even with one gyro working, Hubble will still be able to take part in science, NASA confirmed.

Hubble is equipped with six gyros to precisely point the spacecraft, which were replaced in the final shuttle servicing mission in 2009. Assuming the team can rescue the malfunctioning gyroscope, Hubble will resume operations in its standard three-gyro configuration.

However, according to NASA, after the third enhanced gyro was powered back up, it did not perform "at the level required for operations".

"The plan has always been to drop to 1-gyro mode when two remain", Rachel Osten, deputy head of the Hubble mission, said on Twitter.

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