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A Testament To American Engineering, Venerable Hubble Telescope Rises From the Dead, AGAIN! #Hubble #NASA #astronomy #technology

The Hubble Space Telescope is back from the dead more than three tense weeks after it suffered an operational breakdown while carrying out its mission to study and record the distant stars and galaxies of the universe.

This weekend, NASA excitedly announced that Hubble returned to normal operations on Friday, and completed its first scientific observations since October 5 on Saturday.

Hubble, a joint NASA and European Space Agency project, had been out of action since its gyroscope failed. The gyro is a device that measures the speed at which the spacecraft is turning and is crucial in helping Hubble to turn and lock on to new targets.

Although the powerful telescope’s human operators successfully activated a backup gyro the next day, that device returned incorrect rotation rates.

Last week, the team commanded Hubble to perform various maneuvers and adjusted the gyro’s operational modes to clear what they believe was a blockage between components in the device.

After a series of key tests to confirm that the gyro was stable, the team installed additional safeguards in case the excessive rotation rates return, “although this is not anticipated,” according to NASA.

Hubble, originally intended to work for just 15 years, is now once again fully functional more than 28 years after its launch. The craft has been at the forefront of space exploration, and the team expect it will continue to unearth fascinating discoveries for the next decade at least.

It’s been a good month for NASA’s repair team as engineers also got the Chandra X-Ray Observatory back online after fixing a similar, but less severe, backup gyroscope issue on that spacecraft. Chandra is back up working again and scanning the skies.

Below is a gallery of recent Hubble photographs.


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Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system one day — and he laid out Monday how the rocket company plans to help get there.

“I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.”

Blue Origin’s aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Bezos said. He will spend a “little more” than $1 billion next year to support Blue Origin, he said.
“The dynamism that I have seen over the last 20 years in the internet where incredible things have happened in really short periods of time,” Bezos said. “We need thousands of companies. We need the same dynamism in space that we’ve seen online over the last 20 years. And we can do that.”

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are also eyeing commercial space travel. The effort is “the most important thing” that Bezos is working on, he said, edging out e-commerce site Amazon and the Bezos-owned Washington Post.

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James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 29th, 2018

 

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