In the photo of April 25, 1990, you can see most of the giant Hubble Space Telescope, since its placement was performed by the RMS system after the deployment of part of solar panels and antennas. October 8, 2018 at NASA reported the failure of one of the gyroscopes on October 5. In the end, Hubble went into safe mode, continuing to work in orbit. However, all astronomical observations had to stop
The Hubble Space Telescope is in serious trouble. October 8 NASA announced that a gyroscope crashed on October 5. This is an unexpected event, as the agency made a big bet on this device, faced with problems of backup. As a result, the telescope had to go into safe mode, and all scientific observations were suspended.
Earlier, the 28-year-old Hubble has already encountered problems in gyros. In 2009, the astronauts replaced all 6 of the final service mission. Three of them are now considered unsuitable for use. The agency does not panic yet, because the breakdowns of gyroscopes have become a peculiar unpleasant tradition. Gyroscopes are needed to hold the Hubble at an altitude of 540 km, oriented in the right direction during the observation period. The accuracy of the indications is crucial: astronomers use a telescope to perform deep-space observations, discovering distant solar systems, galaxies and black holes. For example, last week we managed to make a breakthrough, proving the discovery of the first moon outside our solar system.
Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has completed more than 1.3 million observations. Two gyros continue to work fine, and the first was considered a backup. He was turned off several years ago due to strange behavior. The flight control gyro was switched on October 8, but it still does not function correctly. NASA takes great care when trying to repair it, so as not to permanently damage the mechanism.
Usually, Hubble uses three gyros for work, but is able to handle one or two, which was previously done. But this leaves scientists with less data sampling flexibility. The team hopes to eliminate the problem, and the Hubble telescope will serve science for many more years.