Safe mode keeps the telescope in a steady state until the ground control (monitoring device or personnel) does not improve the problem, and the mission does not normally work again.
On Friday, the Hubble Space Observatory, which gave us phenomenal images of the celestial bodies in your milky way and beyond, has been put on a "safe mode" after one of the three gyroscopes mounted on the spacecraft reached its end of life.
As of now, the scientists are carrying on analyses and tests to determine the options that are available to recover the gyro and bring it back to life.
Built with multiple redundancies, Hubble had six new gyros installed during a Servicing Mission in 2009. Although Hubble uses three gyros at a time for maximum efficiency, it can continue to make scientific observations with just one, NASA said. Two of the gyros onboard which were similar types also previously failed.
The telescope is a veteran, according to experts, will be able to work in space for not more than ten years, after which it will probably wind up on the "cemetery of the satellites" in the Pacific ocean. 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.
On November 13, 1999, Hubble was put into safe mode after the fourth of its six gyroscopes failed, leaving it without the three working gyros necessary to point precisely.An already planned preventative maintenance shuttle mission suddenly became more urgent.
"Science operations with Hubble have been suspended while NASA investigates the anomaly", the update reads. The dead gyroscope is the third standard one to fail. In fact, one of the three enhanced gyroscopes was reported as nonfunctional after the instrument was tested to run on all three of them.
"While reduced-gyro mode offers less sky coverage at any particular time, there is relatively limited impact on the overall scientific capabilities", NASA added. But once more, astronomers are optimistic about Hubble's chances of recovery.
Launched in 1990, Hubble is no stranger to issues. 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.