NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is on an unexpected break. Early Sunday morning, the iconic observatory went into a protective “safe mode.” The handlers seem to be confident. They say the Hubble will soon bounce back in relatively short order.
NASA and the European Space Agency’s joint mission, Hubble, launched to the Earth’s orbit abroad the space shuttle Discovery in April 1990. The telescope’s vision was blurry at first, but this glitch was fixed in 1993 by spacewalking astronauts. Ever since, the Hubble has been delivering great images along with some groundbreaking discoveries.
When the spacecraft detects an abnormal condition that could threaten their well-being, they go into safe mode. Some safe modes indicate a severe problem, but many minor glitches can be fixed by troubleshooting.
In October 2018, Hubble went into safe mode after experiencing two of its orientation-maintaining gyroscopes. This dark spell lasted for three weeks. Later, the Hubble rebounded back in good shape. All we need to do is pray and hope the current software problem can be fixed soon.
Hubble Space Telescope has been a significant part of our lives for the past three decades. We are not yet ready to say goodbye to it yet.