NASA announced the fate of "telescope king" Hubble

NASA says Hubble's malfunctioning hardware cannot be repaired. But they have another plan for this "god of war".

In recent days, the Hubble telescope - NASA's leading "workhorse" in deep space exploration missions - had to temporarily stop operating after experiencing problems with its gyroscopes.

During a press conference on the morning of June 5 (Vietnam time), NASA said this problem could not be repaired, leaving this famous space observatory with only 2/6 working gyroscopes left.

Hubble Space Telescope - Photo: NASA

Hubble Space Telescope - Photo: NASA

According to, the gyroscope is a system that provides a frame of reference for Hubble to determine where it is pointing and how that direction will change as the telescope moves across the sky.

However, this does not mean that NASA's 34-year-old telescope has to stop its journey. NASA engineers have another plan for this "war god" to continue its mission until 2035.

The plan is to switch to operating mode with only 1 gyro, "saving" the remaining one.

Gyroscope part of the telescope - Photo: NASA

Gyroscope part of the telescope - Photo: NASA

Although Hubble carries up to 6 gyroscopes, Hubble usually only uses 3 at a time, with the remaining 3 in reserve.

But there was a time when this observatory operated in 2-gyroscope mode, for example using other onboard sensors to replace a 3rd device.

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Hubble also has another optional mode that uses only 1 gyro, the performance difference with 2 gyro mode is dismissed.

“Operatively, we believe this is the best approach for Hubble throughout this decade and into the next, as most of the observations it makes will be completely unaffected” - Mr. Mark Clampin, Director of NASA's Astrophysics Division and Science Mission Directorate.

Of course there will be some limitations to this option. it will take longer to move from one science target to the next, resulting in a possible 12% reduction in planning efficiency.

Gyroscope problems have repeatedly plagued Hubble over the decades it has been in operation. NASA astronauts tried to replace a total of 22 gyros for the device, of which 9 failed.

Around 2035, regardless of whether the remaining gyros are stable or not, it could be the end of Hubble's journey, as the increased drag after decades of operation could cause the telescope to fall. descended into the Earth's atmosphere and burned up there.

NASA has been researching ways to prevent that fate, including a separate proposed plan to accelerate Hubble's return to orbit via a crewed SpaceX Dragon mission, but nothing is happening yet. be done. 

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