The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said Hubble went into "safe mode" on Friday. 5 after one of three gyros actively being used to orient the spacecraft malfunctioned.
"Safe mode puts the telescope into a stable configuration until ground control can correct the issue and return the mission to normal operation".
NASA was quick to offer reassurance: "Hubble's instruments still are fully operational and are expected to produce excellent science for years to come", public affairs officer Felicia Chou wrote in an update on the NASA website.
The telescope is now operating on two of these enhanced gyros. Besides redundancy, three functional gyroscopes also provide more flexibility in pointing, Sembach said.
Dr. Rachel Osten, deputy mission head for the Hubble Space Telescope, tweeted, "Very stressful weekend". "NASA is working to resume science operations", NASA said in an official statement.
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Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since its mission began in 1990 and helped publish more than 15,000 scientific papers.
The Hubble Space Telescope - responsible for capturing some of the most powerful images of deep space - is in safe mode following a series of component failures.
As Space.com reports, the Hubble requires a trio of gyroscopes to operate at its optimal capacity. The team is now working on getting the misbehaving gyroscope to snap out of its funk, but if it can't manage to do that the spacecraft will be brought down to a one-gyroscope mode in order to preserve longevity.
"We'll work through the issues and be back", she promised.
The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990 and has facilitated many great discoveries, was built with a total of six gyroscopes. Friday's failure means Hubble is down to just two, a situation that triggered its entry into safe mode. As per NASA the gyro that was unsuccessful last week had been manifesting end of life performance for a time span of a year and its collapse was not unanticipated. It will only use one of its remaining functioning gyros, which will limit its sky coverage.
If not, the spacecraft will simply move on, running a "reduced-gyro" mode that uses only one spinning wheel. If Hubble breaks down completely before that date, astronomers will be without a space telescope. He added, "There are some things we're only going to be able to do with Hubble for the foreseeable future".