Engineers were forced to suspend the telescopes' scientific activities over the weekend after one of its gyroscope's failed.
The telescope's non-essential systems have been turned off - and all science observations are on hold. Thus, at this time, Hubble has two functional gyroscopes.
Hubble was built with six gyroscopes created to keep the telescope pointed the same way for long periods of time.
In 2020 NASA will launch Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, a more powerful instrument that will offer astronomers unprecedented views of the cosmos.
But now NASA has been forced to place one of it's prize assets into "safe mode" due to the malfunction of a gyroscope used to balance and navigate the $2.5 billion telescope.Читайте также: Cyclone Titli kills five in eastern India, leaves thousands without power
"Hubble's instruments still are fully operational and are expected to produce excellent science for years to come", the NASA statement reads.
Indeed, one of the tasks of the last mission in May 2009 was to install six new gyros, three of them redundant enhanced models, in a bid to extend Hubble's operating life.
Most of the giant Hubble Space Telescope can be seen as it is suspended in space by Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) following the deployment of part of its solar panels and antennae.
NASA announced Monday that one of Hubble's gyroscopes failed last Friday.
Two of Hubble's gyroscopes are working fine, Sembach said. Ideally, Hubble would use three of them simultaneously "for maximum efficiency", but it can continue making observations with one, the agency said in another tweet. "It just might be if we have to look at a particular region of the sky at a particular time Hubble may not be able to point there because of that extra restriction when we're in a reduced-gyro mode".
The failed gyroscope has already been showing end-of-life behavior for about a year, NASA said on its website. "The remaining three gyros available for use are technically enhanced and therefore expected to have significantly longer operational lives", NASA wrote.
Only two of those enhanced gyros are now running.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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