Another NASA space telescope has shut down and halted science observations, the AP reports. Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went offline, the Chandra X-ray Observatory did the same thing. NASA said Friday that Chandra automatically went into so-called safe mode Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem. Hubble went into hibernation last Friday due to a gyroscope failure. Both orbiting observatories are old: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19.
Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both. NASA says it's coincidental both went "asleep" within a week of one another. An astronomer who works on Chandra, Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted Friday that "Chandra decided that if Hubble could have a little vacation, it wanted one, too." (Read more NASA stories.)