Hubble loses another gyro

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docm

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Link....<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>Hubble telescope loses another pointing gyro</b><br /><br />Another pointing gyroscope has failed on the Hubble Space Telescope, leaving it with two gyros in operation and a third available as a spare. But the telescope can still observe – though with slightly reduced efficiency – with just one gyro, and managers believe it will survive until the space shuttle services it for the last time a year from now.<br /><br />Hubble uses gyros to point and stabilise itself in space, but the devices have been a continuing problem for the telescope. It was originally designed to operate with three, but to keep the telescope in working order until the final shuttle servicing mission, engineers devised a way for it to operate on two gyros instead. It switched to this two-gyro mode in 2005, and engineers have since written computer programs to allow the telescope to make observations with a single gyro.<br /><br />On 1 September, the most recent gyro failed. It had been operating for more than 6.5 years, a lifetime considered well above average, when a critical wire broke, says a spokesman for the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, US, which manages Hubble observations.<br /> /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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Oh hell, this is not good news.<br /><br />At least it looks as though the one remaining gyro will be enough to guarantee stability.<br /><br />I hope the Uranus Ring Plane / Equinox observations are not affected at the very least.<br /><br />The urgency of the STS to visit the Hubble is now heightened.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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I wonder at this late date if we should just let the old lady live out its days rather than have another 'resuscitation' mission. <br /><br />We have other space based observatories. And the stress on the STS wouldn't help matters. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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With the repair mission the old lady could still have another decade of useful life, it would be shame if we were to miss out on this.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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billslugg

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Does anybody know why gyros fail so frequently? Is it hard vacuum and lubricant outgassing on bearings, thermal shock on wires (9-1-07 failure?) or what? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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docm

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Probably all or any of the above. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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askold

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"And the stress on the STS wouldn't help matters."<br /><br />I assume you mean - saving STS's limited life for ISS. I wonder, when history looks back on this era - which tool will have performed more useful science? ISS or Hubble?
 
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SpaceKiwi

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I can see the rather unfortunate circumstance occurring whereby the servicing mission is close to roll-out, or even on the pad, and Hubble loses all attitude control.<br /><br />I guess they had to get over the RTF 'hump', but I think the HSM has been left perilously late in the manifest. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em><font size="2" color="#ff0000">Who is this superhero?  Henry, the mild-mannered janitor ... could be!</font></em></p><p><em><font size="2">-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------</font></em></p><p><font size="5">Bring Back The Black!</font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Exactly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Agreed.<br /><br />I can't help but think that STS will probably experience more delays in the future. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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docm

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Looks like FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) is a goner too;<br /><br />http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=25334<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The last operational reaction wheel on FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) stopped on July 12. Attempts to restart any of the wheels have been unsuccessful. Although the instrument remains in excellent condition, the FUSE satellite is currently incapable of the fine pointing control required to continue its science mission, and there is no real prospect for recovering this capability. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vogon13

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I suppose I am a bit late with this suggestion for Hubble (but I have been really busy):<br /><br />If they had taken all the long exposure pictures <i><b>first</b></i>, then as it degrades in ability to hold pointing for longer periods, start observing the brighter stuff . . . <br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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windnwar

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Most of the science missions are a mix of long and short duration shots and since they are generally studying a wide variety of things it's probably hard to schedule. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
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vogon13

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Humor, my young Vulcan Padawan learner, is a difficult concept . . . <br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Does anybody know why gyros fail so frequently? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />More importantly for the future, does anybody know if any MEMS gyros and accelerometers have flown on space missons, even as test articles ?
 
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kdavis007

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Personally I think the ISS is more important than the Hubble imho.. Remember the Space is not about science only..
 
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windnwar

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I can't see one last servicing mission to hubble ruining ISS operations. If anything gets cut at the last minute it'll be the hubble service mission, but if we can service it, we ought to. The hardware has already been prepped, and it still produces world class science that can't be easily reproduced by anything on the ground. JWST is not really a replacement either since it's designed for a whole other spectrum. Not to mention we don't even know how successful JWST will be. Unless we have a Hubble replacement, keeping it running is a good investment. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
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erioladastra

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"I can't see one last servicing mission to hubble ruining ISS operations. If anything gets cut at the last minute it'll be the hubble service mission"<br /><br />Ruining might be too strong of a word but it does impact ISS. The remaining ISS missions are not really enough to get the most critical stuff done and one more would be a great help. But I also don't understand you second sentence - HST is 2008, Shuttle retirement is 2010 - HST will be over before anything gets cut at the end - which would again be another ISS mission.<br /><br />And there have been numerous threads on this, but even if JWST is 100% successful, it is a very different beast - salt and pepper. HST would, if still functioning well, would be a huge asset to astronomy.
 
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erioladastra

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"If they had taken all the long exposure pictures first, then as it degrades in ability to hold pointing for longer periods, start observing the brighter stuff "<br /><br />Well two thoughts... First, even the deep fields are just a summation of many short exposures. However, I see what you are getting at and fine control is critical for good resolution of images. Second, images are only a fration of HST data, and really not the best for quanitity of science that comes out. With spectra you can still do an amazing amount with less critical fine control.
 
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MeteorWayne

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You said: "The remaining ISS missions are not really enough to get the most critical stuff done and one more would be a great help."<br /><br />Is it that tight?<br /><br />I had not gotten that impression, but perhaps I am drinkin' the kool aid.<br /><br />Can you elaborate on that?<br /><br />From the News conferences, etc, I thought there were 1 or 2 spare ISS missions post construction.<br /><br />Maybe it's a semantic thing regarding what the phrase "get the most critical stuff done" really means. Anything you can do to educate us would be appreciated.<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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askold

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Space should at least be mainly about science.<br /><br />If ISS had been completed on time, it may have played a major role in space exploration. Unfortunately, the construction delays have relegated it to - I guess we'll finish the thing because we started it. ISS will do no significant science, it won't have a major role in NASA return to the moon program.<br /><br />Meanwhile, Hubble sits quietly churning out science. Sadly, that can't compete with video of spunky astronauts chasing a glob of water around in space on the 6:00 news.
 
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windnwar

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working at a tv news station i'm embarassed to say ain't that the truth. Fortunately my job is to make it work, not create the content otherwise i'd have to strangle my fellow coworkers that do the actual reporting! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
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themanwithoutapast

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>You said: "The remaining ISS missions are not really enough to get the most critical stuff done and one more would be a great help."<br /><br />Is it that tight?<br /><br />I had not gotten that impression, but perhaps I am drinkin' the kool aid.<br /><br />Can you elaborate on that?<br /><br />From the News conferences, etc, I thought there were 1 or 2 spare ISS missions post construction.<br /><br />Maybe it's a semantic thing regarding what the phrase "get the most critical stuff done" really means. Anything you can do to educate us would be appreciated.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />You can look at it this way, after the Columbia accident the flight manifest up to 2010 included 28 flights, then this flight manifest was cut down to 18 and later 16 - now it seems back to 18 post-Columbia flights again. Of the 10 flights that are not flown, many were MPLM logistics flights. So it is correct to say that one more mission to the ISS is of great help to the ISS science program.<br /><br />P.S. for the cost of the Hubble Servicing Mission next year, NASA could have built a telescope with the same capabilities that Hubble currently has - the only reason why this is not done is, because a space observatory in the visible light spectrum in LEO orbit is not required any more, breakthrough astronomy will be done with newer IR observatories placed at L2 like Herschel, which is to be launched next year.
 
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kdavis007

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Sorry the Hubble was nice telescope but I'm sure with the money that was is being spent to service we can a build a new one just to take pretty pictures...
 
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