Gyroscope trouble sees Hubble switch into 'safe mode'

IN SPACE In this handout from the National Aeronautical Space Administration, the Hubble Space Telescope drifts through space in

The telescope orbits high up, around 350 miles up, but its path decays over time, due to the small particles from the Earth's upper atmosphere that bombard the spacecraft and drag it down towards our planet. As per NASA the gyro that was unsuccessful last week had been manifesting end of life performance for a time span of a year and its collapse was not unanticipated.

"The remaining three gyros available for use are technically enhanced and therefore expected to have significantly longer operational lives", NASA said today. It's worth nothing that the gyroscope failure wasn't unexpected; the problem is how to deal with it.

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

The message said "mission experts" were working to fix the problem.

The Hubble Space Telescope has shut down and gone into protective "safe mode" after one of the gyroscopes which keep it in place failed on Sunday, team members said.

In connection with the damage to the telescope interrupted his work and was put into safe mode.

At maximum efficiency, Hubble uses three gyroscopes in order to orient itself to observe a target in the sky. Unfortunately, that could take weeks to accomplish, which means the telescope will stay in safe mode until the team is able to troubleshoot the gyroscope.

The Space Telescope Science Institute's deputy mission head, Dr. Rachel Osten, said the first move "is to try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic".

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NASA was quick to offer reassurance: "Hubble's instruments still are fully operational and are expected to produce excellent science for years to come", public affairs officer Felicia Chou wrote in an update on the NASA website. "If the outcome of this investigation results in recovery of the malfunctioning gyro, Hubble will resume science operations in its standard three-gyro configuration", the agency stated.

Ultimately, getting the gyroscope up and running would be the best-case scenario here.

It is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889.

The Hubble Space Telescope is in an uncomfortable predicament.

"In many respects, James Webb is going to be very superior to Hubble, but not in every respect", said Prof.

Launched in 1990, Hubble has had trouble with its gyroscopes before.

NASA revealed the issue on its Hubble Twitter account, though it didn't have many details to provide.

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