The Hubble Space Telescope has temporarily halted its observations and entered a safe mode due to problems with one of its gyroscopes. These gyroscopes play a crucial role in measuring the telescope's rotation speed and determining its orientation.
The first glitch in one of the gyroscopes was detected on November 19, and the Hubble's control team managed to restore its operation. However, on November 21, the same issue caused the telescope to enter safe mode once again. Despite successful repairs, instability in the gyroscope led to another suspension of scientific research on November 23.
Currently, NASA's Hubble team is diligently working on diagnosing the problem and devising solutions to get the telescope back on track. If necessary, they can reconfigure the telescope to operate with just one gyroscope. Of the six gyros installed during the final space shuttle servicing mission in 2009, only three remain functional, including the one experiencing fluctuations. Typically, all three gyros are used simultaneously for maximum efficiency, but the telescope can continue conducting scientific observations with just one.
This isn't the first time Hubble has faced gyroscope issues. In 2018, it encountered a similar situation, but the telescope's resilience prevailed, and it resumed its mission of providing breathtaking cosmic images and invaluable scientific data.