NASA's Chandra Observatory back in action

NASA's Chandra Observatory back in action

NASA is definitely having a hard time with its telescopes. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is healthy and set to resume science operations after a problem forced it into safe mode on October 10.

On Monday, NASA reported that a glitch in one of Chandra's gyroscopes created a domino effect throughout the facility: A three-second period of bad data led the on-board computer to calculate an incorrect value for the spacecraft momentum, which ultimately triggered safe mode.

NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope -which observes galaxies from the Earth's orbit - is back in action after suffering a technical glitch and going into safe mode last week, the U.S. space agency said.

NASA refers to the spacecraft as "incredible" and describes it as "the worlds [sic] most powerful X-ray telescope". Analysis of available data indicates the transition to safe mode was normal behavior for such an event.

Observations are expected to resume with Chandra by the end of this week.

Since launch, the spacecraft has provided a look at the remains of exploding stars and found black holes across the universe. The spacecraft went into safe mode because another one of its six gyroscopes failed.

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Chandra has been precision X-raying our universe since its launch in 1999 and is one of four observatories of NASA's Great Observatory program, which includes the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope. The reason of failure is unclear, and the space Agency continues to investigate the failures of the telescope.

NASA said Hubble would still be able to provide science "well into the 2020s".

Meanwhile, the USA space agency said that it continues to work towards resuming science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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

In safe mode, science experiments are suspended, primary hardware hands its tasks over to backup systems, and the satellite orients itself to get maximum sunlight on its solar panels. All systems functioned as expected and the scientific instruments are safe.

Grant Tremblay, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted Friday that the issue with Chandra had been characterised and that there was a "clear pathway to recovery".

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