Publicado: Mier, Octubre 31, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Hubble Space Telescope Returns to Action After Gyroscope Glitch

Hubble Space Telescope Returns to Action After Gyroscope Glitch

Hubble, a joint NASA and European Space Agency project, had been out of action since its gyroscope failed.

Hubble's pointing system was compromised earlier this month when an old gyroscope finally failed.

The Hubble Space Telescope returned to normal operations with three fully functional gyroscopes late Friday and completed its first science observations on Saturday, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said. It also has completed its first science observation since the malfunction, collecting data on a distant star-forming galaxy DSF2237B-1-IR over the weekend. However, it did not cause concern because the spacecraft is equipped with six gyros, three of which are meant to be in storage for situations like this.

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The Saturday release explained that during the prior week, an operations team ordered the telescope to move in different ways "and switched the gyro between different operational modes, which successfully cleared what was believed to be blockage between components inside the gyro that produced the excessively high rate values". Mission team members worked to recruit a backup gyroscope but had trouble doing so, because the gyro returned anomalous readings-specifically, it measured rotation rates that were higher than the actual ones. By Oct. 22, NASA said that the rates from the gyro were back to normal, and were performing additional engineering tests to confirm that the gyro was working properly. The telescope experienced similar issues in the past but, in 2009, spacewalking shuttle astronauts installed six new gyros in the orbiting observatory.

The Hubble Space Telescope is once again keeping an eye on the sky.

"Late Friday, the team began the process to restore the scientific instruments to standard operating status", the space agency added. Its gyroscope was not functioning as expected. NASA will continue to observe and fine-tune the performance of the gyroscope configuration as necessary.

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