Hubble telescope back to work after gyroscope failure, NASA says

NASA said the Hubble Space Telescope has returned to normal operations after issues with a gyroscope knocked the device into safe mode.

The telescope completed its first observations Saturday, capturing information on a distant, star-forming galaxy, the agency said.

On Oct. 5, Hubble was pushed into safe mode after one of its gyroscopes stopped working. The gyroscopes allow Hubble to turn and lock on to new targets to observe.

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NASA was able  to get a backup gyroscope on the telescope running after it initially was returning very high rotation rates. Safeguards have been put in place in case it returns to those higher rates, but it's not likely, said the agency.

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Over the last several days, engineers performed a series of maneuvers and collected data to make sure the telescope could properly rotate in the sky and pinpoint targets.

Hubble launched in April 1990, becoming the first major optical telescope placed in space. Over the past 28 years, Hubble has streamed back key data on subjects such as dark matter and how planets form.

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