Meanwhile, the USA space agency said that it continues to work towards resuming science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Once the safe mode is activated, the observatory positions itself into a safe configuration, the critical hardware is swapped to back-up units, and while the spacecraft directs to the angle where the solar panel can receive maximum sunlight, the mirrors point away from the sun.
"All systems functioned as expected and the scientific instruments are safe", agency officials wrote in an update today (Oct. 12). 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.
The observatory is now 19 years old and was originally created to function for five years. Because of this, the telescope is temporarily stopped work and was translated in safe mode.
Nasa says it is coincidental that both "went to sleep" in the space of a week.
An anomaly review board that consists of professionals experienced in the manufacturing of such gyros, Hubble operations personnel, flight software engineers and other experts was formed earlier this week to identify the cause of this behavior and determine what solutions can be implemented from the ground to correct or compensate for it. Till then, science operations with Hubble have been suspended.
Because the gyro is reading rates of changes at a greater magnitude, it can't be used to monitor smaller changes.
For example, the "Hubble" there are still two working gyro, and he can function even with one.
Two of those enhanced gyros are now running. Previous tests showed Hubble can conduct observation using a single gyro.
Chandra and Hubble is not the only known spacecraft NASA is experiencing problems.
Don't forget about the Mars Rovers Space Agency.
"In 2001, NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years".