Global One (G1)— The Hubble Space Telescope is reportedly offline and has been placed on “safe mode” after an important mechanism failed.
One of the six gyroscopes — devices which help aim and stabilize the telescope — failed on Friday, Oct. 5, and NASA is working to correct the issue.
Typically, Hubble only needs three gyroscopes to operate while the other three serve as backups, but due to other mechanical issues, the telescope is left with only two working gyroscopes after Friday’s failure.
Reportedly, the gyroscopes have always been Hubble’s weakness — it’s been the most common repair.
The telescope’s operators think it may just need a simple reboot like your computer does when it gets a bit slow, but Director Ken Sembach says, “We don’t want to start flipping switches until we understand what’s happening.”
Hubble is offline until experts can solve the issue.
If it can’t be fixed, NASA says Hubble can operate at a minimal level on just one gyroscope.