HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE AFTER MECHANICAL FAILURE, NASA SAYS
Xeber24.net _ Nasa
The Hubble Space Telescope is in serious problem after a mechanical failure with one of its most important components, Nasa has announced.
One of the gyroscopes that keep the telescope pointing in the right direction has failed, the space agency said.
As a result, it has been shut down into a safe mode that mean all non-essential systems are turned off. All science observations are on hold and engineers are working to try and safe the important space telescope.
Hubble is responsible for some of the most iconic space images in history. The famous ‘Pillars of Creation’ image, for instance, is perhaps the most famous picture of deep space ever taken and came from Hubble’s cameras.
“On Friday, the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode due to a failed gyro – used to keep the telescope precisely pointed for long periods,” Hubble’s official account posted. “Mission experts are taking steps to return Hubble to great science. More updates will follow.”
The broken gyroscopes are a key part of the working of the telescope, ensuring that it points in the right direction as it looks into space.
Hubble has had problems with them before. But previously they could be fixed by astronauts who headed up there on the shuttle: all six of them were replaced that way in 2009.
Hubble can work with just one or two of the gyroscopes. But that leaves little room for further failures, and the James Webb Telescope that is expected to succeed it has been the victim of numerous delays.