There's something wrong with the Hubble Space Telescope
There's something wrong with the Hubble Space Telescope
Image The Hubble Space Telescope is currently operating in safe mode
09 October, 2018, 01:25
NASA, we have a problem: one of the Hubble Space Telescope's gyroscopes - devices which are needed to keep the telescope in the right direction during observations - is not working.
NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope is out of action for the time being.
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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The message said "mission experts" were working to fix the problem.
The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990 and has facilitated many great discoveries, was built with a total of six gyroscopes. Scientists had already planned to reduce Hubble to using only a single gyroscope at a time once it was down to three, that being meant to prolong the space telescope's lifespan for as long as possible. Another gyro failed. First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic'.
The original Hubble Space Telescope image of the famous Pillars of Creation was taken two decades ago and immediately became one of its most famous and evocative pictures. The newly failed gyro is the last of that old design, and it lasted about six months longer than expected. The telescope needs three working gyroscopes to "ensure optimal efficiency", mission team members have written, and the failure brings that number down to two (if the "problematic" one that had been off can't be brought back online).
She explained that there are plans in place to deal with the eventuality of the HST dropping down to a one-gyro mode when two remained. "Which the Astro community wants desperately", Osten tweeted in response.
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