Staff at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute are now performing analyses and tests to determine what options are available to recover the gyro to operational performance.
Hubble Telescope has got six gyros installed during the Servicing Mission-4 in the year 2009. It is expected to return to its normal operations after ground control performs analyses and tests. More specifically, one of the last three remaining gyros that are required for the telescope to operate efficiently has been showing signs of malfunction, forcing engineers to place the spacecraft in "safe mode" while it figures out what to do.
Even so, The Hubble Space Telescope is able to go back to work since it can work with only 2 gyroscopes.
The gyroscope that failed had been exhibiting end-of-life behavior for approximately a year, and its failure was not unexpected; two other gyro devices of the same type have already failed. While the remaining three gyros are "technically enhanced" and should be more operationally durable than the those that have failed, just two of them are now running.
Rachel Osten, the deputy mission head of the spacecraft, shared in a tweet that the team is trying to revive one of the gyros that failed. The dead gyroscope is the third standard one to fail. Two of these advanced gyroscopes are now working.
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During Hubble's early years the gyroscopes died often, and replacing them was one of the main tasks of servicing missions.
Science operations with Hubble have been suspended while NASA investigates the anomaly.
"While reduced-gyro mode offers less sky coverage at any particular time, there is relatively limited impact on the overall scientific capabilities", NASA added.
Astronomers have recently been talking about how they can extend Hubble's life so that it could continue to serve the astronomy community.
Launched in 1990, Hubble has had trouble with its gyroscopes before. In the meantime, two of the telescope's scientific instruments - the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Advanced Camera for Surveys - stopped working due to power supply failures.Good as newSpace shuttle missions returned five times to Hubble over the space telescope's first 19 years to fix it.