Hubble in 'safe mode', but science operations suspended

NASA's Hubble Telescope is in Danger After Gyroscope Fails

Hubble Space Telescope sidelined by serious pointing failure

Hubble telescope has six new gyros installed inside it during the Servicing Mission-4 in 2009 and it is built with multiple redundancies.

Even so, The Hubble Space Telescope is able to go back to work since it can work with only 2 gyroscopes. While the remaining three gyros are "technically enhanced" and should be more operationally durable than the those that have failed, just two of them are now running. For the moment, NASA has left it out of circulation, since one of the gyroscopes stopped working last Friday, so aiming at any space object is more now hard. This essentially leaves Hubble with only two fully functional ones. Two of these advanced gyroscopes are now working. The telescope carries a total of six gyroscopes, but only three are needed to run the telescope. Hubble entered safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) being used to point and steady the telescope failed last week.

According to NASA, the third gyro had trouble reading the rates and data and considered that the spacecraft is in motion when it isn't and thereby, engineers tried sending a software patch to fix the issue, however, the problem remained unaffected and that is why the Hubble team turned off the third gyro and has put Hubble in a safe mode until further investigation is done to find a way out. Right now, HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do. Science operations have been suspended while it is repaired - if it can be repaired. The test analysis results indicate that gyro is not usable then it will resume the science operations in the reduced gyro mode as it will be using one gyro for this.

"While reduced-gyro mode offers less sky coverage at any particular time, there is relatively limited impact on the overall scientific capabilities", NASA added.

Besides delivering jaw-dropping images of the universe around us, Hubble is responsible for a series of scientific discoveries, including what may be the first-known exomoon in orbit around a world outside our solar system. Hubble was created to be repaired by astronauts on the space shuttle.

Ultimately, getting the gyroscope up and running would be the best-case scenario here. With no other options, NASA sent the Hubble Space Telescope into safe mode. But once more, astronomers are optimistic about Hubble's chances of recovery. However, James Webb Telescope would replace Hubble soon and will continue the mission of the renowned telescope. Nial Tanvir of Leicester University in the UK.

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