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NASA Announces Hubble Telescope Could Soon Go on Solo Gyro Mode

Spacecraft troubles

NASA Announces Hubble Telescope Could Soon Go on Solo Gyro Mode

The Hubble Space Telescope could soon operate on a single gyroscope as NASA extends its life without the need for commercial servicing.

On Tuesday, the U.S. space agency announced that one of the Hubble’s remaining gyros “failed and could not be restored.” The development left the spacecraft with two working gyros, prompting NASA to activate a plan developed to ensure that it reaches its lifespan. By operating on a single gyro, the Hubble will have decreased flexibility when dowing observations close to the sun, SpaceNews reported

Patrick Crouse, project manager for Hubble at the Goddard Space Flight Center, said despite putting the Hubble in single gyro mode, NASA engineers are not considering that the spacecraft is on its last legs.

The plan to use a single gyro dates back more than 20 years ago, a plan devised to ensure that the spacecraft remains operational until the 2030s.

In its over 30 years of operation, Hubble has made over 1.6 million observations, with more than 21,000 peer-reviewed science papers published that included discoveries.

Category: Space