After the failure of another gyroscope onboard, Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope has entered safe mode and due to this its science operations have been suspended, the US space agency said.
The telescope went into safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) being used to point and steady it failed last week.
Safe mode makes the telescope to go in a stable configuration state until ground control can correct the issue and return the mission into a normal operational condition.
As of now, the scientists are carrying on analyses and tests to determine the options that are available to recover the gyro and bring it back to life.
So due to this, all the operations related to science have been suspended with Hubble telescope.
“If the outcome of this investigation results in recovery of the malfunctioning gyro, Hubble will resume science operations in its standard three-gyro configuration,” NASA said in a statement on Monday.
“If the outcome indicates that the gyro is not usable, Hubble will resume science operations in an already defined “reduced-gyro” mode that uses only one gyro.”
Despite the fact that Hubble uses three gyros at a given single time for maximum efficiency, it can go on with scientific observations with just one of them, NASA said.
Hubble telescope has six new gyros installed inside it during the Servicing Mission-4 in 2009 and it is built with multiple redundancies.
For almost a year, the gyro that failed had been exhibiting end-of-life behavior, and its failure was not unexpected; another two gyros of the same type had already failed.
The other three gyros that are available onboard are expected to have significantly longer operational lives as they were technically enhanced.
As of now, two of those enhanced gyros are in running condition. When the third enhanced gyro was powered as it was in reserve earlier to that, analysis of spacecraft telemetry indicated that it was not performing at the level that is required for operations.
Due to all these reasons, Hubble remains in safe mode.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in the year 1990 into low Earth orbit and until now remained in operation. Despite the fact that it is not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile one and is famous for both as a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy.