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LatestNews - NASA's Chandra Observatory back in action

LatestNews - NASA's Chandra Observatory back in action

NASA is having a really tough time.

Nasa said on Monday that the Chandra X-ray Observatory came back online on Friday.

"Analysis of available data indicates the transition to safe mode was normal behaviour for such an event", NASA said.

Barely a week after NASA's Hubble Space Telescope entered safe mode, the Chandra mission has also suffered a glitch possibly due to the failure of the gyroscope, the U.S. space agency said. The space agency said it is investigating the issue, although data analysis of the probe indicated that its transition into safe mode is "normal behavior".

As The Register noted last week, Chandra has performed sterling work in its 19 years, including snapping the first images of a shockwave from a supernova, picturing galaxies in the process of merging, revealing different types of black holes, and playing a key role in preparing the route for the New Horizons probe flyby of Pluto and other Kuiper belt objects.

Since the spacecraft was launched in 1999, it has been closely monitoring and X-raying our universe.

Earlier this month, the Hubble Space Telescope went from four working gyroscopes to only two fully-functional gyros.

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The incredible spacecraft boasts what NASA describes as "the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed", and it is now among the most powerful telescopes in the world. The Hubble Space Telescope will continue to be in safe mode until the space agency has figured out its next step of action. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has greatly contributed to our improved understanding of the universe.

One of NASA's marquee space telescopes won't be sidelined for much longer.

NASA said that all of Chandra's critical hardware has been swapped into back-up units, while the spacecraft is pointed in such a way that the solar panels get maximum sunlight, while the mirrors point away from the sun.

Only the essential instruments it needs to survive are now working, but all of its scientific equipment are otherwise safe.

One possible reason identified last week was a glitch in a gyroscope that confused the machine and forced it to enter safe mode as a precaution to prevent any damage.

An anomaly review board was formed to find the cause of these issues and try to fix them.


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