NASA May Have Fixed The Hubble Yet The Real Problem Remains Unknown

Author - Oct 24, 2018

NASA May Have Fixed The Hubble Yet The Real Problem Remains Unknown

NASA has fixed the faild gyroscope, bringing Hubble back to normal operation, but the Hubble team are still not sure what the real problem is.

Recently, NASA’s Hubble telescope has been undergoing an unwanted downtime. Previously, there were some problems with Hubble’s gyroscopes which are used for orientation, the incident forced the out-wearing telescope to turn on safe mode. It is now likely that NASA has fixed the trouble, though they are not sure what happened exactly.

hubble issues

According to a recent update, NASA talks about its solution to the Hubble’s backup gyroscope when a gyro failed on October 5. When the first gyroscope failed, the backup one started spinning for the very first time within eight years, and things began to become a little scary.

The backup gyro was supposed to operate as an instant alternative for the failed one. However, the backup started sending back some data which is messed up seriously and its rotation rates are higher than they should be. Therefore, the telescope was forced into safe mode so that NASA engineers could check and scan for the problem.

Initially, they shut it down and turned it back on again. There was no signs of performance improvement, so other measures had to be conducted.

On October 18, to eliminate any obstruction causing the telescope to be off-center and generate such high rates, the operation team commanded various spacecraft maneuvers in the opposite direction. During each turn, the team switched the gyroscope from high mode to low mode so as to clear any blockage accumulating around the float.

It was likely that the situation was improved, but the technique did not totally fixed the gyro’s problems, resulting in a second maneuvers round to be performed, the second attempt appeared to have brought the gyroscope back to reality.

Additional tests were done so that the team could ensure the gyroscope’s performance. Plus, they will monitor Hubble’s behavior closely to make sure that it’s actually ready to work normally again.

Except for some blockage, NASA still cannot know for sure what the problem was, but that’s to be expected when the telescope operates with hardware which stays inactive for years in a row.


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