NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is back full-steam after a two-day shutdown, the agency announced 15 October, Monday.
Update! Chandra operations resume after cause of safe mode identified: our Operations team has successfully returned the spacecraft to its normal pointing mode. After software reconfiguration, we will return to science operations soon. https://t.co/68Q1plKHOP pic.twitter.com/Inld39cSTV
— Chandra Observatory (@chandraxray) October 15, 2018
The space agency expects data and observations from Chandra to resume as per usual by the end of this week.
Both the telescopes appeared to have similar issues with their gyroscopes, or pointing systems.
When the telescope goes into this configuration, all its critical hardware is swapped to its redundant counterparts onboard, NASA said. The spacecraft also aligns itself to receive maximum sunlight on its solar panels, with mirrors that are used for imaging angled away from the Sun.
Over the next few days, a series of software patches for flying instructions will be configured onto Chandra.
NASA engineers have restored the Observatory's pointing abilities by switching to a backup gyroscope onboard, and plan to keep the faulty gyroscope in-reserve.
From its 1999 launch, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been looking for X-ray signals in our galaxy. These come from some of the most distant and bizarre astronomical events in the universe.
Since Earth's atmosphere blocks out a majority of the X-rays, Chandra was sent above the atmosphere to capture these high-energy, short-wavelength light signals. The Observatory has high-resolution mirrors that can detect X-rays 100 times fainter than any X-ray telescope built prior to it.
While the Chandra Observatory appears to be back on its way to full-throttle, Hubble appears to still be tied up with more serious gyroscope issues that started 5 October.