The Hubble Space Telescope has problems with one of its stabilizers. It was put into "safe mode" on Friday, as initially reported several media, citing the US space agency Nasa. A gyroscope of the 28-year-old space telescope had failed, it was said. The ground control is trying to fix the problem.
In security mode, all will not
essential systems switched off. The scientific work of the telescope is interrupted. The measuring devices are fully functional, said Nasa.
Overall, Hubble is equipped with six gyrostabilizers, one of which does not work. In normal operation, three of them are in use at the same time. The telescope is built so that if necessary it can get by with only one or two gyroscopes. On Monday Nasa also confirmed on Twitter the incident of one of the gyroscopes. "The Hubble team is working to restart the scientific work after Hubble switched to security mode due to the failure of one in three gyros," the US space agency tweeted.
The Hubble team is working on resume science. Hubble has entered a safe mode due to 1 of 3 gyros failing. Analysis and testing on the gyro are ongoing. For more info: https://t.co/T72X4pjLPI- Hubble (@NASAHubble) 8th October 2018
The stabilizers are important in keeping the telescope in position when aimed at a celestial body or space segment to be observed. Again and again there had been problems with the gyroscopes – in 2009 they had to be replaced.
On April 24, 1990 Hubble was launched on board the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Cape Canaveral Space Station into space, one day later, on 25 April, it was abandoned in orbit. Since then, the telescope has orbited the earth and made more than a million observations. Based on this data, more than 13,000 scientific publications have been published.
Among other things, Hubble data helped astronomers to determine the age of the universe, the first time the
Atmosphere of an exoplanet – so a planet outside our solar system – to investigate and in the
Depths of space to track down the first galaxies created after the Big Bang.