NASA brings a Hubble gyro back to life after a seven-year hibernation

Hubble Space Telescope above Earth, photographed during STS-125, Servicing Mission 4, May 2009.

Enlarge / Hubble Space
Telescope above Earth, photographed during STS-125, Servicing
Mission 4, May 2009. (credit: NASA)

After NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope
entered
“safe” mode about two weeks ago, its operations team
has been scrambling to bring a balky gyroscope back online. Now,
the space agency says it believes it has fixed the problem.

“The Hubble operations team 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,”
NASA said
in a news release. “After these engineering tests
have been completed, Hubble is expected to soon return to normal
science operations.”

Ground operators put the telescope into a stable configuration
earlier this month after one of the three active gyros that help
point the telescope failed. According to NASA, the gyro that
failed last week had been exhibiting end-of-life behavior for about
a year, and its failure was not unexpected.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
NASA brings a Hubble gyro back to life after a seven-year hibernation