After brief shutdown, NASA's hubble completes first science operation
Washington, Oct 30: After a three-week hiatus, the NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business. The observatory had been hibernating since October 6th, after a backup gyroscope started behaving abnormally. However, the backup incorrectly returned rotation rates that were far in excess of the actual rates.
The 28-year-old space telescope completed its first science observation on October 27th at 2:10 a.m. EDT - its target was a remote star-forming galaxy designated DSF2237B-1-IR.
Hubble's pointing system was compromised earlier this month when an old gyroscope finally failed. The backup did not kick in properly, forcing flight controllers to come up with a fix. Controllers managed to coax the backup gyroscope into operation through a variety of maneuvers and switches. Three gyroscopes need to be working for optimal performance.
Launched in 1990, Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations of stars, galaxies, black holes and other celestial targets. Some are more than 13 billion light-years away.
The telescope resumed operations Saturday by staring down a distant star-forming galaxy in the infrared.