Publicado: Jue, Octubre 11, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Hubble Telescope in Safe Mode, Issues Being Diagnosed

Hubble Telescope in Safe Mode, Issues Being Diagnosed

But after the failure last week, the Hubble is now left with only two fully-operational gyros.

As supporting evidence, he said, there was a two-day gap in the data, something backed up by Icelandic astronomer Steinn Sigurdsson, who provided this link to its schedule.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has entered safe mode following a gyroscope failure, according to the space agency.

"Don't worry, Hubble has many great years of science ahead", says Kenneth Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, which operates Hubble. 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.

Bottom line: The Hubble Space Telescope has been in safe mode since last Friday evening, following the failure of one of the gyros that helps stabilize it. NASA is analyzing the problem and hopes to resume operations soon. Staff at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute are now performing analyses and tests to determine what options are available to recover the gyro to operational performance.

There is, however, another problem. Fortunately, the spacecraft has six gyros onboard for situations like this; three of which are more technologically advanced and, therefore, have longer lifespans.

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Pictured above is the Hubble mission operations team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as of Hubble's 25th anniversary of flight.

If the outcome indicates that the gyroscope is not usable, Hubble will resume science operations in an already defined "reduced-gyro" mode that uses only one. The team is now working on getting the misbehaving gyroscope to snap out of its funk, but if it can't manage to do that the spacecraft will be brought down to a one-gyroscope mode in order to preserve longevity. This is one reason why NASA sought to install three enhanced gyros on the telescope in 2009.

Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations.

Only two of those enhanced gyros are now running. Right now HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do.

If the space agency fails to recover the third gyro, the Hubble Space Telescope will continue to be in operation. It will only use one of its remaining functioning gyros, which will limit its sky coverage.

The James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble, is scheduled to be launched in March 2021.

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