Two flagship space telescopes are returning to their respective operations after they both entered safe mode around the same time earlier this month. The Hubble Space Telescope is close to moving back into normal science observations following a gyro issue, while the Chandra Space Telescope has now resumed its detections of X-ray emissions from very hot regions of the universe.
Hubble was the first to report a problem back on October 5, relating to a backup gyroscope that was incorrectly returning extremely high rotation rates. Hubble’s gyros measure the speed at which the spacecraft is turning, and is needed to help Hubble turn and lock on to new targets.
The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most famous spacecraft ever launched by NASA and is closing it on its 30th anniversary since launch.
Shuttle Discovery – STS-31 in 1990 – was Hubble’s ride into space, with her crew including former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, reaching a 380 statute mile orbit – higher than most orbiters would normally head to in space.
Giving birth to Hubble on orbit didn’t go as smoothly as was hoped, as one of the observatory’s solar arrays stopped as it was unfurling. The plan for ...