NASA's hobbled Hubble telescope is near normal again

2018-10-24 11:46

NASA's famed Hubble Space Telescope is nearly back to normal after a failed orienting tool forced engineers to put it in safe mode earlier this month, the US space agency said.

The problem came from one of the pieces of equipment on board known as a gyroscope, which helps point and orient the telescope.

The gyro was one of three in active use and had been acting up in recent months.

Two others like it have already failed, NASA said, of a total of six on the telescope which has been circling the Earth since 1990.

The telescope was put into safe mode and suspended its science collection activities on October 5 while Earth-based engineers tried to fix the problem.

An attempt to revive the gyroscope by turning it in the opposite direction appears to have cleared any blockage, NASA reported late Monday.

Next, the US space agency "plans to execute a series of tests to evaluate the performance of the gyro under conditions similar to those encountered during routine science observations, including moving to targets, locking on to a target, and performing precision pointing", said a NASA statement.

"After these engineering tests have been completed, Hubble is expected to soon return to normal science operations."

The Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists discover troves of new planets, make a 3D map of dark matter in the universe, and shed new light on the mysteries of black holes.

A joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency, it was originally meant to last 15 years, but has been in operation more than 28.

Even while it was in safe mode, NASA said its "instruments are still fully functional and are expected to produce excellent science for years to come".

Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in 2021.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    nasa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.