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Chandra X-ray Observatory back online after failure



NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory will soon be observing the cosmos again, the space agency said Monday. A shock last week left the spacecraft in safe mode. Chandra is a space observatory that observes extreme objects emitting X-rays, such as black holes. The problems with Chandra surfaced on October 10, just days after the iconic Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode due to problems with its gyroscopes guiding the spacecraft. Together, they form half of NASA's "Great Observatories" program.

Safe Mode

As Chandra's instruments move into safe mode in a secure configuration that protects important hardware, the spacecraft uses its solar cells to get the optimum amount of sunlight, and the craft's mirrors show off the sun away. According to an official NASA statement, Chandra went into a safe mode consistent with "normal" or expected behavior.

The Space Agency did not disclose why Chandra entered Safe Mode, but all systems aboard the ship successfully transitioned and all of Chandra's instruments are safe and sound. NASA said last week that they are still investigating the reason for this sudden shift.

"Chandra is 1

9 years old, which goes well beyond the original lifespan of 5 years," NASA said in the statement. "In 2001, NASA extended its lifespan to 10 years and is now well on its extended mission."

The Space Agency adds that Chandra "will continue to conduct top scientific research for many years to come."

Problems with Hubble

As this investigation progresses, "NASA continues to work on the resumption of scientific operations of the Hubble Space Telescope after Friday, October 5, due to the spacecraft said an official NASA statement said

Earlier this month, the Hubble Space Telescope went from four working gyroscopes to just two fully functional gyros – while the telescope had two or more a gyroscope – the gyroscopes keep the telescope in the same direction for long periods of time – works Hubble is best with at least three rotors.

After this gyro failure, the Hubble operation team has turned on a backup gyro. Unfortunately, the backup gyro did not work successfully. Since then, the team has been testing the backup gyro, which continues to report false high speeds. This backup gyro can not report even Hubble's small moves.

An Anomaly Review Board was formed to find and fix the cause of these problems.

The Planet Hunt Kepler Space Telescope, low in fuel and near the end of its mission, began the month in safe mode. The astronomers have since put the spacecraft back into service and are working on downloading its latest data before it runs out of energy.


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