Hubble Space Telescope Back in Action with New Operating Mode

NASA engineers successfully switched the Hubble Space Telescope to a new operational mode on June 14th, 2024. This new mode allows Hubble to resume scientific observations using only one gyroscope (gyro) instead of the usual three.

Gyroscopes are instruments that help the telescope point precisely by measuring its rotation. One of Hubble's gyros had been malfunctioning for months, causing the telescope to go into safe mode on May 24th, 2024.

The new mode is a workaround that allows Hubble to point and observe celestial objects with the remaining functional gyro and the telescope's other pointing tools. This is great news for astronomers as Hubble is a vital tool for studying the universe.

Here's a breakdown of the situation with the Hubble Space Telescope:

  • The Issue: One of Hubble's gyroscopes, which are crucial for pointing the telescope, had been malfunctioning for months, providing inaccurate readings and causing disruptions to science operations.
  • Safe Mode: On May 24th, 2024, Hubble entered safe mode to prevent further issues due to the faulty gyro.
  • New Pointing Mode: Fortunately, NASA engineers were able to switch the telescope to a new operational mode that only uses one functioning gyro. This allowed science observations to resume on June 14th, 2024.
  • Normal Operations: Currently, Hubble and its scientific instruments are reported to be stable and working as expected.

This new pointing mode offers a solution, but it's likely a temporary fix. Scientists will likely continue to monitor the situation and explore long-term solutions.

Here are some key points.

  • Hubble can now perform scientific observations again.
  • The telescope is using a new mode that only requires one gyro.
  • This comes after a gyroscope malfunction forced Hubble into safe mode.
  • NASA engineers were able to implement a work-around to keep Hubble operational.

If you'd like to learn more, you can visit the NASA website for the Hubble Space Telescope

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