View Full Version : Discussion: Hubble Working on Only Two Gyros Now

2005-Sep-01, 06:20 PM
SUMMARY: Managers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have intentionally turned off one of its working three gyroscopes to try and lengthen the lifespan of the aging instrument. These gyros allow Hubble to turn and point at new locations in the sky. Engineers have figured out several techniques that will allow Hubble to perform the same science, but with just two gyros. Hopefully this will give Hubble an additional 8-months of operation, extending its availability into 2008.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/hst_two_gyro_operation.html)

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2005-Sep-01, 08:38 PM
Is this a power supply issue? It is possible to maneuver using 2 axes of rotation, keeping one as a spare.

I don't see how, without detailed measurements for failure modes, they know precisely when each gyro would fail. Is this all just a guess?

2005-Sep-01, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by Guest@Sep 1 2005, 08:38 PM
Is this a power supply issue?
It's not power supply, it estimated time between failure of the moving parts in the gyroscope.

Concerning why they only need two, apparently if they constrain the possible movement to one axis, they can detect and correct so well that it doesn't distort the image.