Second Space Telescope Takes 'a Little Vacation'

Like Hubble, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory goes into safe mode
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 12, 2018 1:22 PM CDT
This illustration shows the Chandra X-ray Observatory.   (NASA/CXC/SAO via AP)

(Newser) – 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.)

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