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Why Nasa is making a significant operational shift for Hubble Space Telescope – Times of India

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Why Nasa is making a significant operational shift for Hubble Space Telescope

NEW DELHI: Nasa has announced a significant operational shift for the Hubble Space Telescope, aimed at ensuring its continued functionality and extending its lifespan. The space agency is transitioning Hubble to a new mode of operation that involves using only one of its gyroscopes, while keeping another gyro in reserve for future use.
Hubble originally had six new gyros installed during the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission in 2009.Currently, three of those gyros remain operational, including one that is experiencing problems. The Nasa team will continue to monitor this malfunctioning gyro closely.
“Hubble uses three gyros to maximize efficiency but can continue to make science observations with only one gyro,” Nasa said. The decision to shift to a single-gyro mode was made based on a plan developed over 20 years ago. This mode was identified as the best way to prolong Hubble’s operational life and allow it to provide consistent scientific observations even with fewer than three working gyros.
From 2005 to 2009, Hubble operated in two-gyro mode, which is only negligibly different from one-gyro mode. One-gyro operations were successfully demonstrated in 2008 for a short period without impacting the quality of scientific observations.
This new operational mode is part of Nasa’s ongoing efforts to adapt to the aging telescope’s needs and ensure it continues to deliver valuable scientific data. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, has provided groundbreaking insights into the universe and remains a critical tool for astronomers worldwide.





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