Hubble Space Telescope Goes Into 'Safe Mode' After Failure of Another Gyroscope

2006 by the European Space Agency shows one-half of the Hubble Space Telescope field of view with nine stars that are orbited by planets with periods of a few days. Planets so close to their stars with such short orbi

If this is not possible, then the agency will begin operating the telescope using a single gyroscope with the other working gyroscope held in reserve to preserve the overall lifetime of the telescope.

Most of the giant Hubble Space Telescope can be seen as it is suspended in space by Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) following the deployment of part of its solar panels and antennae. That was unfortunate, as the telescope requires at least three functional gyroscopes for optimal use.

On Friday, NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope, our window into the universe since 1990, went into a protective safe mode after one of its gyroscopes failed. Engineers were forced to suspend the telescopes' scientific activities over the weekend after one of its gyroscope's failed.

NASA said staff at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute were conducting tests and analysis to get the gyro working again.

'Right now HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do.

NASA originally designed Hubble with six internal gyroscopes, but these components have a limited lifespan.

The original Hubble Space Telescope image of the famous Pillars of Creation was taken two decades ago and immediately became one of its most famous and evocative pictures. The current problem, though, is a reminder that, with the retirement of the shuttle, NASA now lacks a means to fix or upgrade Hubble.

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 gyro lasted about six months longer than we thought it would (almost pulled the plug on it back in the spring).

'We'll work through the issues and be back'.

"If the outcome indicates that the gyro is not usable, Hubble will resume science operations in an already defined "reduced-gyro" mode that uses only one gyro", Chou wrote.

The instrument, named after astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, has been celebrated for its involvement in tracking asteroids, analysing the Kuiper Belt and documenting the nebula of dying stars. There isn't much difference between 2- and 1, and it buys lots of extra observing time. That extended lifetime is something the astronomical community "wants desperately", she added.

Space-watchers have been nervously watching that bit of space occupied by the Hubble Space Telescope as NASA tries to diagnose a problem with its gyroscopes.

Amateur astronomers have also been given access to Hubble for research purposes.

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