Barely a week after NASA's Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode, its Chandra mission also underwent an error, possibly due to the failure of the gyroscope, the US space agency said.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which has been observing the universe in high energy light since 1999, has entered a protective "safe mode" that interrupts scientific observations and places the spacecraft in a stable configuration.
"At around 9:55 am EDT on October 10, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory went into safe mode to investigate the cause of the transition to safe mode (possibly with a gyroscope)," NASA said late Friday.
During security mode, the observatory is placed in a secure configuration, critical hardware is exchanged for backup units, the spacecraft shows that the solar panels receive maximum sunlight, and the mirrors point away from the sun.
"The analysis of available data shows that the transition to safe mode was normal for such an event, all systems worked as expected and the scientific tools are safe," he added.
Chandra, launched in 1999, is well beyond the original life of 5 years. In 2001, NASA extended its life to 10 years. It is now well in its extended mission and is expected to continue the foremost science for many years to come.
Meanwhile, the US Space Agency said it continues to work on resuming the scientific operations of the Hubble Space Telescope.
On October 5, Hubble entered safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) used to straighten and stabilize the telescope failed. Gyroscopes help spacecraft to maintain the correct orientation.
Scientists are currently conducting analyzes and tests to determine which options are available to bring the gyro to operating performance.
Until then, the scientific operations were suspended with Hubble.
In addition to Chandra and Hubble, NASA's Kepler Planetary Space Telescope is almost empty.
To date, Kepler has found about 70 percent of all known alien worlds.
The NASA spacecraft Dawn, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres since March 2015, is also running out of fuel and may be phased out this month.
The Space Administration's Mars Rover Opportunity and Curiosity have also been facing problems lately.
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