Hubble telescope in safe mode after gyroscope failure

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has gone into safe mode after two gyros malfunctioned.

    2018/10/10

NSFW    USA — NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has gone into safe mode after two of its four functioning gyroscopes stopped working.

The Hubble had been operating with four of its six gyroscopes when two of them failed, according to reports from NASA.

At any given time, the Hubble needs at least three of its gyroscopes to work for optimal efficiency.

After one of the gyroscopes failed, controllers tried to switch to another newer gyroscope, however, that one failed as well, leaving the Hubble with only two fully functioning gyroscopes.

Gyroscopes are mainly used to make steer the Hubble and makes sure the telescope is steady in space.

The failure was "not unexpected" as two other gyros of the same model had already experienced problems, according to a NASA statement.

NASA also tweeted it was conducting tests on the newer gyroscope to determine the problems.

The operators will now try to revive the newer gyroscope and bring it online.

If it is not successful, the Hubble will operate in a "reduced-gyro" mode, using only one gyro in order to let the telescope operate for a longer time.

However, this would affect the Hubble's ability to track fast moving objects as well as reduce the amount of sky it can view in any given moment, according to NASA.
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