Chandra Observatory Of NASA Starts Functioning After One Week Halt

NASA's Chandra Telescope in Safe Mode Due to Glitch

NASA is definitely having a hard time with its telescopes.

The cause of Chandra's safe mode on October 10 has now been understood and the Operations team has successfully returned the spacecraft to its normal pointing mode, according to the U.S. space agency.

NASA's Hubble telescope also entered safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) being used to point and steady the telescope failed.

The incredible spacecraft boasts what NASA describes as "the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed", and it is now among the most powerful telescopes in the world. The space agency said it is investigating the issue, although data analysis of the probe indicated that its transition into safe mode is "normal behavior". Chandra is a space observatory that observes extreme objects that emit X-rays, like black holes.

Since the spacecraft was launched in 1999, it has been closely monitoring and X-raying our universe.

Chandra is one of the four "Great Observatories" of NASA alongside the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. That issue triggered the space telescope's protective mode.

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On October 10, Chandra entered safe mode, in which the observatory is put into a safe configuration, critical hardware is swapped to back-up units, the spacecraft points so that the solar panels get maximum sunlight, and the mirrors point away from the Sun. However, the agency came to an end after evaluating date from the transition that Chandra's scientific devices are sound and safe.

The space telescope "Chandra" has shut down just a few days after the Hubble was broken onboard gyroscopes.

The good news here is that the spacecraft entered safe mode successfully, which is what it's created to do in such circumstances, so at least that part of the observatory is functioning as intended.

NASA said Hubble would still be able to provide science "well into the 2020s". The telescope's actions are temporarily suspended until NASA engineers can see if they can fix the issue.

Grant Tremblay, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted that there is a "clear pathway to recovery" for Chandra.

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