This is how Hubble will use the remaining gyroscopes to maneuver into space




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Astronaut Story Musgrave on an EVA to the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope has had a setback with the latest gyroscope error, but current plans must keep this irreplaceable advantage for astronomers operational for many years.NASA / STS-61

If you want to see the distant Universe with the highest sensitivities and the smallest possible infections, it is best to go to space. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in April 1990, is perhaps the most famous astronomical observatory in the entire history of mankind. With the earth at a height of 550 kilometers (340 miles), at a speed of about 27,000 km / h, it completes a revolution around our planet every 95 minutes.

At the same time, the earth rotates around its axis and revolves around the sun, which in turn moves through the galaxy with almost 0.1% of the speed of light. Yet Hubble always succeeds in pointing out its astronomical goals stably and without difficulty, despite all these movements. The key is in its guidance systems and in particular in its gyroscopes. This is how, despite a recent failure, Hubble is in balance to reveal the secrets of the universe for years to come.

This image shows how Hubble maintains four astronauts on a Hubble underwater model at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston under the watchful eye of NASA engineers and safety divers. The mission of 2009 was the last time that the Hubble Space Telescope could be maintained.

Pointing to a single object without staggering or faltering is no small task. From its location in space, Hubble does not have to contend with the atmosphere, which means that the resolution and imaging capabilities are limited only by the optics and instruments on board. The last upgrade, in 2009, with the latest Hubble service mission running from the Space Shuttle, allows Hubble to deliver images with an accuracy of just a few millionths of a grade.

But one of the main challenges is to keep your entire telescope stable and accurate in how it is focused. To this end, the Hubble Space Telescope was designed to lock on a target and keep its position stable to an accuracy of only 0.007 arc seconds. To understand how impressive that is, it's the equivalent of & nbsp; a laser beam shining on a quarter and touching George Washington's eye, without errors, at a distance of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) away.

The fourth quarter of the United States is the largest of the four major American coins in circulation, but the eye of George Washington is extremely small. If you could hit the eye from a distance of 14 km with a laser pointer and keep that position, you would achieve the accuracy of the Hubble space telescope. (Royalty Free Photo / Getty Images)

Here on earth we find it self-evident how easy it is to orientate virtually everything. We can point out what we want, in whatever direction we want, simply by manipulating it, by hand or with the machine.

But the only reason we can do this is because there is something to protect us from: the earth. When you exert a force on an object, that object pushes you against you with an equal and opposite force. That is because of the law, first discovered by Newton, who claimed it every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket will end on April 19, 2013 with Bion-M No. 1. Note the reaction of the exhaust for the action of speeding up the spacecraft, an example of Newton's third law.Roskosmos

But in space there is nothing else to push against. No matter how you move, and that includes both your movement in a straight line and your rotational movement, so you keep moving. The only external forces come from gravity and a very light resistance of the atoms and particles that exist in the interplanetary space.

If you were stuck with the sun and you wanted to look away, you would not be able to. If you do not turn, you can not start turning, because there is nothing to push against. And likewise, if you turn, you can not slow yourself, because there is nothing to push against. Whether you are an object in rest or a moving object, the only way that will change is when there is an external force.

Separately, each system, whether at rest or in motion, including angular motion, will not be able to change that movement without an external force. In space, your options are limited, but even in the international space station a component (such as an astronaut) can push against another (like another astronaut) to change the movement of the individual component.NASA / International space station

This would work if you had a second object in the room next to you to push against. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station can push the trunk of the station or another astronaut and change their momentum or angular momentum. Costs? Whatever you drive against, its momentum or angular momentum must change with an equal and opposite amount.

So what do you do if you are a space telescope, above it on yourself, without anything else to push against?

Hubble uses a few basic physics to turn itself around and look at different parts of the sky. On the telescope six gyroscopes (which always point in the same direction as a compass) and four free-turning control devices, called reaction wheels, are placed.NASA, ESA, A. Feild and K. Cordes (STScI) and Lockheed Martin

You need a part in you to be the thing you push from to change your movement. If you are alone in space, for example by turning your lower body clockwise, you can turn your upper body counterclockwise; you could push another part of your body to change your orientation.

In a space telescope we do not have different components of our body to work with, but we do have different components of the telescope. And in the case of Hubble we have a complete guidance system based on this principle.

The reaction wheels make it possible to change their orientation, and the finely-guided sensor enables it to determine how it orients itself. According to NASA itself:

To change the angle, Newton's third law is used by turning the wheels in the opposite direction. It runs about the speed of a minute hand on a clock, taking 15 minutes to turn 90 degrees.

But to keep the telescope stable, you need an important ingredient: gyroscopes.

An extremely precise laser gyroscope was developed by the Russian scientific research and design association & # 39; polyus & # 39 ;, as shown here on a photo from 2002. The gyroscopes on Hubble are even more advanced and are in many ways the most accurate in human history. (Sovfoto / UIG via Getty Images)

Without these gyroscopes, small external forces would reduce Hubble's orientation over time and make images with a long exposure impossible. But with them we can keep the telescope stable.

In 2009, during the last maintenance mission, all six Hubble gyroscopes were replaced, in the hope of prolonging its lifespan for as long as possible. The gyroscopes maintain their orientation and provide stability by pushing back against any force that tries to change its orientation. For Hubble, each gyroscope contains a wheel that runs at 19,200 rpm, and three are required for optimal operating efficiency. The reason we need three is simple: there are three dimensions in space, and therefore three independent ways in which a spacecraft might change its orientation. With three gyroscopes that work simultaneously, we can achieve maximum stability.

The Hubble space telescope, as shown during its last and last maintenance. The only way it can direct itself is from the internal spinning devices with which it can change its orientation and maintain a stable position.NASA

On 5 October 2018, the Hubble Space Telescope has gone into safe modedue to the fact that one of the three gyroscopes that are actively used to aim and stabilize the telescope has failed. Engineers have previously solved such problems from the ground by switching on and switching another gyro onboard, with three being used to stabilize the observatory. The gyroscope that failed was not entirely surprising; it had signs of problems for about a year.

But there are already two other gyroscopes that have failed from replacing six, and another that already has problems. With two good gyroscopes and a partially malfunctioning, it is a solemn reminder that Hubble will not live forever, especially with no possibility for mankind to maintain it again.

As we explore more and more of the universe, we can look further away into space, which is equal to further back in time. The James Webb Space Telescope takes us to depths, directly, that our current observation facilities can not match, but maybe Hubble and Webb can work together in the 2020s to make observations with multiple wavelengths that no single observatory can do alone.NASA / JWST and HST teams

With two fully functioning gyroscopes, the team works with Hubble will switch to the final plan: in a mode with one gyroscope. With three gyroscopes you can point anywhere you want and keep your observatory stable; with less than that, your perspective on the sky is suddenly limited.

Therefore, the intention is to remotely repair the partially defective gyroscope. If you succeed, you have three working gyroscopes and Hubble can continue working. & Nbsp; If they can not cure the partially defective gyroscope, they will disable and store one of the functional gyroscopes. You can perceive almost as much of the sky with one gyroscope as you can with two, but in fact you double the lifespan of your telescope by using one gyro simultaneously instead of two at the same time. At the expense of reduced air coverage and slower target times, you can extend the life of Hubble.

This photo of the Hubble Space telescope that was deployed on April 25, 1990, was taken by the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC) mounted on board the Space Shuttle Discovery. It has been operational for more than 28 years, but has not been maintained since 2009.NASA / Smithsonian Institution / Lockheed Corporation

It may seem like another example of crumbling infrastructure in the United States, but you should not underestimate either the Hubble or the ingenuity of astronomers and scientists and engineers in general. The two (or maybe three) left over gyroscopes are of a new and upgraded design, designed to last five times as long as the original gyroscopes, including the one that failed recently. The James Webb Space Telescope, despite being the successor to Hubble, is actually very different and will be launched in 2021.

Even with a single gyroscope, the Hubble Space Telescope must still be operational and capable of making supplementary observations to James Webb. This reduced gyro mode has been planned for a long time. The only disappointment is that we might have to enter it so quickly.

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Astronaut Story Musgrave on an EVA to the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope has had a setback with the latest gyroscope error, but current plans must keep this irreplaceable advantage for astronomers operational for many years.NASA / STS-61

If you want to see the distant Universe with the highest sensitivities and the smallest possible infections, it is best to go to space. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in April 1990, is perhaps the most famous astronomical observatory in the entire history of mankind. With the earth at a height of 550 kilometers (340 miles), at a speed of about 27,000 km / h, it completes a revolution around our planet every 95 minutes.

At the same time, the earth rotates around its axis and revolves around the sun, which in turn moves through the galaxy with almost 0.1% of the speed of light. Yet Hubble always succeeds in pointing out its astronomical goals stably and without difficulty, despite all these movements. The key is in its guidance systems and in particular in its gyroscopes. This is how, despite a recent failure, Hubble is in balance to reveal the secrets of the universe for years to come.

This image shows how Hubble maintains four astronauts on a Hubble underwater model at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston under the watchful eye of NASA engineers and safety divers. The mission of 2009 was the last time that the Hubble Space Telescope could be maintained.

Pointing to a single object without staggering or faltering is no small task. From its location in space, Hubble does not have to contend with the atmosphere, which means that the resolution and imaging capabilities are limited only by the optics and instruments on board. The last upgrade, in 2009, with the latest Hubble service mission running from the Space Shuttle, allows Hubble to deliver images with an accuracy of just a few millionths of a grade.

But one of the main challenges is to keep your entire telescope stable and accurate in how it is focused. To this end, the Hubble Space Telescope was designed to lock on a target and keep its position stable to an accuracy of only 0.007 arc seconds. To understand how impressive that is, is that the equivalent of a laser beam shining on a quarter and the eye of George Washington, without errors, at a distance of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) away.

The fourth quarter of the United States is the largest of the four major American coins in circulation, but the eye of George Washington is extremely small. If you could hit the eye from a distance of 14 km with a laser pointer and keep that position, you would achieve the accuracy of the Hubble space telescope. (Royalty Free Photo / Getty Images)

Here on earth we find it self-evident how easy it is to orientate virtually everything. We can point out what we want, in whatever direction we want, simply by manipulating it, by hand or with the machine.

But the only reason we can do this is because there is something to protect us from: the earth. When you exert a force on an object, that object pushes you against you with an equal and opposite force. This is due to the law, first discovered by Newton, which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket will end on April 19, 2013 with Bion-M No. 1. Note the reaction of the exhaust for the action of speeding up the spacecraft, an example of Newton's third law.Roskosmos

But in space there is nothing else to push against. No matter how you move, and that includes both your movement in a straight line and your rotational movement, so you keep moving. The only external forces come from gravity and a very light resistance of the atoms and particles that exist in the interplanetary space.

If you were stuck with the sun and you wanted to look away, you would not be able to. If you do not turn, you can not start turning, because there is nothing to push against. And likewise, if you turn, you can not slow yourself, because there is nothing to push against. Whether you are an object in rest or a moving object, the only way that will change is when there is an external force.

Separately, each system, whether at rest or in motion, including angular motion, will not be able to change that movement without an external force. In space, your options are limited, but even in the international space station a component (such as an astronaut) can push against another (like another astronaut) to change the movement of the individual component.NASA / International space station

This would work if you had a second object in the room next to you to push against. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station can push the trunk of the station or another astronaut and change their momentum or angular momentum. Costs? Whatever you drive against, its momentum or angular momentum must change with an equal and opposite amount.

So what do you do if you are a space telescope, above it on yourself, without anything else to push against?

Hubble uses a few basic physics to turn itself around and look at different parts of the sky. On the telescope six gyroscopes (which always point in the same direction as a compass) and four free-turning control devices, called reaction wheels, are placed.NASA, ESA, A. Feild and K. Cordes (STScI) and Lockheed Martin

You need a part in you to be the thing you push from to change your movement. If you were alone in space, for example by turning your lower body clockwise, you could turn your upper body counterclockwise; you could push another part of your body to change your orientation.

In a space telescope we do not have different components of our body to work with, but we do have different components of the telescope. And in the case of Hubble we have a complete guidance system based on this principle.

The reaction wheels make it possible to change their orientation, and the finely-guided sensor enables it to determine how it orients itself. According to NASA itself:

To change the angle, Newton's third law is used by turning the wheels in the opposite direction. It runs about the speed of a minute hand on a clock, taking 15 minutes to turn 90 degrees.

But to keep the telescope stable, an important ingredient is needed: gyroscopes.

An extremely precise laser gyroscope was developed by the Russian scientific research and design association & # 39; polyus & # 39 ;, as shown here on a photo from 2002. The gyroscopes on Hubble are even more advanced and are in many ways the most accurate in human history. (Sovfoto / UIG via Getty Images)

Without these gyroscopes, small external forces would reduce Hubble's orientation over time and make images with a long exposure impossible. But with them we can keep the telescope stable.

In 2009, during the last maintenance mission, all six Hubble gyroscopes were replaced, hoping to extend their lifespan for as long as possible. The gyroscopes maintain their orientation and provide stability by pushing back against any force that tries to change its orientation. For Hubble, each gyroscope contains a wheel that runs at 19,200 rpm, and three are required for optimal operating efficiency. The reason we need three is simple: there are three dimensions in space, and therefore three independent ways in which a spacecraft might change its orientation. With three gyroscopes that work simultaneously, we can achieve maximum stability.

The Hubble space telescope, as shown during its last and last maintenance. The only way it can direct itself is from the internal spinning devices with which it can change its orientation and maintain a stable position.NASA

On October 5, 2018, the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode due to the fact that one of the three gyroscopes actively used to target and stabilize the telescope had failed. Engineers have previously solved such problems from the ground by switching on and switching another gyro onboard, with three being used to stabilize the observatory. The gyroscope that failed was not entirely surprising; it had signs of problems for about a year.

But there are already two other gyroscopes that have failed from replacing six, and another that already has problems. With two good gyroscopes and a partially malfunctioning, it is a solemn reminder that Hubble will not live forever, especially with no possibility for mankind to maintain it again.

As we explore more and more of the universe, we can look further away into space, which is equal to further back in time. The James Webb Space Telescope takes us to depths, directly, that our current observation facilities can not match, but maybe Hubble and Webb can work together in the 2020s to make observations with multiple wavelengths that no single observatory can do alone.NASA / JWST and HST teams

With two fully functioning gyroscopes, the team that operates Hubble switches to the final plan: in a single gyroscope mode. With three gyroscopes you can point anywhere you want and keep your observatory stable; with less than that, your perspective on the sky is suddenly limited.

Therefore, the intention is to remotely repair the partially defective gyroscope. If you succeed, you have three working gyroscopes and Hubble can continue to work. If they can not cure the partially defective gyroscope, they will disable and store one of the functional gyroscopes. You can perceive almost as much of the sky with one gyroscope as you can with two, but in fact you double the lifespan of your telescope by using one gyro simultaneously instead of two at the same time. At the cost of reduced air coverage and slower target times, you can extend the lifetime of Hubble.

This photo of the Hubble Space telescope that was deployed on April 25, 1990, was taken by the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC) mounted on board the Space Shuttle Discovery. It has been operational for more than 28 years, but has not been maintained since 2009.NASA / Smithsonian Institution / Lockheed Corporation

It may seem like another example of crumbling infrastructure in the United States, but you should not underestimate either the Hubble or the ingenuity of astronomers and scientists and engineers in general. The two (or maybe three) left over gyroscopes are of a new and upgraded design, designed to last five times as long as the original gyroscopes, including the one that failed recently. The James Webb Space Telescope, despite being the successor to Hubble, is actually very different and will be launched in 2021.

Even with a single gyroscope, the Hubble Space Telescope must still be operational and capable of making supplementary observations to James Webb. This reduced gyro mode has been planned for a long time. The only disappointment is that we might have to enter it so quickly.


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