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Hubble Telescope Troubleshooting Is Expected To Resume

Oct 26, 2018

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, October 25, new media specials French media said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said that its famous Hubble Space Telescope is about to resume normal operation. Earlier this month, a Hubble telescope fault in a directional instrument forced engineers to switch it to safe mode.

According to Agence France-Presse reported on October 23, the fault appeared in a device called a gyroscope on the telescope. Its role is to help the telescope aim and orient.

The gyroscope is one of three gyroscopes in use and has not been functioning properly in recent months.

NASA says there are six gyroscopes on the telescope that have been orbiting the Earth since 1990, and two of the gyroscopes that are the same have failed.

On October 5th, the telescope was switched to safe mode and scientific observations were suspended so that engineers on Earth could try to repair the malfunction of the gyroscope.

NASA announced on the evening of October 22 that attempts to turn the telescope in the opposite direction to repair the gyroscope seemed to clear the blockage.

NASA said in a statement that NASA will "follow a series of tests to evaluate the performance of the gyroscope under conditions similar to routine scientific observations, including steering targets, target locking and precise pointing."

It said: "After these engineering tests are completed, Hubble is expected to resume normal scientific research soon."

According to reports, the Hubble Space Telescope helped scientists discover a large number of new planets, mapped the 3D distribution of dark matter in the universe, and brought new insights to uncover the mysteries of black holes.

The report also said that as a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency, the Hubble telescope was originally planned to work for 15 years, but it has been in operation for more than 28 years.

Even when the Hubble telescope is still in safe mode, NASA has said that its "instrument is still fully operational and is expected to produce superior scientific results in the next few years."

According to reports, Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in 2021.


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