Hubble gyroscope failure puts space telescope into safe mode

IN SPACE In this handout from the National Aeronautical Space Administration, the Hubble Space Telescope drifts through space in

Image The Hubble Space Telescope is currently operating in safe mode

Washington, Oct 9 NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has entered safe mode, following the failure of another gyroscope, but its science operations have been suspended, the United States space agency said.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said Hubble went into "safe mode" on Friday.

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

In connection with the damage to the telescope interrupted his work and was put into safe mode. "Everybody said OK, no big surprise, we've been expecting that for a year, let's turn on the gyro that was off at the time to get back onto science operations".

"The remaining three gyros available for use are technically enhanced and therefore expected to have significantly longer operational lives", NASA said today.

With the shuttle fleet retired and no chance to make any additional repairs or upgrades in orbit, NASA earlier developed "control laws" that would allow Hubble to operate with two gyros or even just one.

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"In many respects, James Webb is going to be very superior to Hubble, but not in every respect", said Prof.

'First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic'.

One newspaper quoted Rachel Osten, Hubble's deputy mission head at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, said: "It's true". "At any given time, Hubble needs three of its six gyroscopes operating to ensure optimal efficiency", NASA says.

Hubble has made numerous outstanding observations of the cosmos since it was deployed in 1990. A series of space missions were needed to fix technical problems - affecting the gyroscopes among other things - since Hubble's launch in 1990.

Hubble has carried a total of six gyroscopes - three standard and three enhanced - since astronauts installed them during a spacewalk in 2009, typically using three at once. Two of the backup gyros had already failed since 2009. There are three gyros of the older generation with a history of showing signs of malfunction after 50,000 hours of service. "We'll work through the issues and be back", Osten added in another tweet. Two of Hubble's other gyros of the same type have already failed.

The news came as a shock to the fans of the venerable space telescope, which has sent down jaw-dropping images and data to address cosmic conundrums ranging from planetary origins to the age of the universe.

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