An attempt to revive the gyroscope by turning it in the opposite direction appears to have cleared any blockage, NASA reported late Monday. The telescope’s gyros are motorized spinning wheels inside a cylinder inside a fluid, which sense changes in the telescope’s movement.The Hubble operations team says the problem seems to have been resolved. A series of tests to evaluate the performance of the gyro under conditions similar to those encountered during routine science observations will follow now.
The Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists discover troves of new planets, make a 3D map of dark matter in the universe, and shed new light on the mysteries of black holes. It was originally meant to last 15 years, but has been in operation more than 28. Being fully functional, it is expected to work years to come. “Hubble going down to one-gyro mode would in particular have hampered our efforts to characterize extrasolar planet atmospheres in the years running up to James Webb,” research scientist Jessie Christiansen at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute told to media.