Sunday 16 December 2018

Nasa space telescope back online after gyroscope glitch

The issue with the Chandra X-ray Observatory occurred less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope was sidelined.

Illustration showing the Chandra X-ray Observatory (NASA/CXC/SAO via AP)
Illustration showing the Chandra X-ray Observatory (NASA/CXC/SAO via AP)

By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press

One of Nasa’s space telescopes is back in business after a two-day shutdown.

Nasa said on Monday that the Chandra X-ray Observatory came back online on Friday.

Chandra’s trouble occurred less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope was sidelined.

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The Hubble Space Telescope (NASA via AP)

In both cases, the problem was in the pointing system.

Officials said a glitch in one of Chandra’s gyroscopes generated three seconds of bad computer data last Wednesday.

That was enough for the 19-year-old telescope to go into so-called safe mode, during which science observations cease.

Flight controllers restored Chandra’s pointing by switching to a backup gyroscope.

Observations are expected to resume with Chandra by the end of this week.

Hubble, meanwhile, remains out of action with a more serious gyroscope issue that cropped up on October 5.

Press Association

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