NASA is working to resume science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope after th spacecraft went into safe mode on Friday, October 5, just after 6: 00 p.m. EDT. Hubble’s instruments still are completely functional and are anticipated to continue to function or many years to come.
Hubble went into safe mode after one of the 3 gyroscopes being utilized to point and stabilize the telescope stopped working. Safe mode puts the telescope into a steady setup up until ground control can fix the problem and return the machine to regular operation.
Built with numerous redundancies, Hubble had 6 brand-new gyros set up throughout Servicing Mission-4 in 2009. Hubble generally utilizes 3 gyros at a time for optimal performance, however, can continue to make clinical observations with simply one.
The gyro that stopped working had actually been showing end- of- life habits for roughly a year and its failure was not unforeseen; 2 other gyros of the very same type had actually currently stopped working. The remaining 3 gyros readily available for use are technically improved and for that reason anticipated to have substantially longer functional lives.
Staff at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute are currently undergoing analyses and tests to identify what alternatives are readily available to recuperate the gyro to operational efficiency.
Science operations with Hubble have now been suspended while NASA examines the abnormality. An Anomaly Review Board, consisting of specialists from the Hubble group and industry familiar with the style and efficiency of this kind of gyro, is being formed to examine this problem and establish the recovery strategy. If the result of this examination leads to repairing of the malfunctioning gyro, Hubble will resume science operations in its basic 3- gyro setup.
If the result shows that the gyro is not salvageable, Hubble will resume science operations in a currently specified “reduced-gyro” mode that utilizes just one gyro. While minimized- gyro mode uses less sky protection at any specific time, it has minimal impact on its processing and scientific abilities.