Hubble Space Telescope is in Trouble

Discussion in 'Science, Tech, & Space Exploration' started by nivek, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Another one has shut down...

    NASA's alien-hunter has gone dark and scientists aren't sure why

    NASA's alien-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has suffered another malfunction, with the spacecraft returning to sleep mode just days after it sent information from its latest campaign back to Earth.

    "Following a successful return of data from the last observation campaign, the Kepler team commanded the spacecraft into position to begin collecting data for its next campaign," NASA said on its website. "On Friday October 19, during a regularly scheduled spacecraft contact using NASA’s Deep Space Network, the team learned that the spacecraft had transitioned to its no-fuel-use sleep mode. The Kepler team is currently assessing the cause and evaluating possible next steps."

    On Oct. 15, NASA was able to download information from it latest observation campaign, Campaign 19, noting it was "monitoring the spacecraft and will provide more information when its status has been fully assessed."

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  2. APIGuy

    APIGuy Independent Field Investigator

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  3. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    I heard it was getting low on fuel as well...

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  4. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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  5. APIGuy

    APIGuy Independent Field Investigator

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    I disagree. It makes no sense if you think about it, and NASA satellite control teams (I've been on some) do not operate under a veil of secrecy. Everything gets reviewed by lots of people and is carefully verified and well documented.

    All the satellites having problems are senior citizens who could have been retired years ago. The kinds of problems they are having are not unusual, and are not the kinds of problems you could get by sneaking in a couple of commands (which you probably can't do).
     
  6. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    The Kepler Space Telescope has been plagued by problems for a long time. I was surprised to read here that it was still operating, because last I heard its mission ended after a reaction wheel failure several years ago. Here is what it says about its history in its Wikipedia summary:
     
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  7. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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    Hubble returns to normal operations after three weeks.
    Hubble Space Telescope Returns to Action After Gyroscope Glitch
     
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  8. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    They keep dropping out one by one, are we to believe they run out of fuel near the same time is just a coincidence?...

    The Dawn spacecraft exploring the asteroid belt has gone dark

    Another day, another iconic space mission going dark. On Tuesday, NASA announced that its exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope had run out of hydrazine fuel, and the craft would be commanded to cease operations. Now, the Dawn spacecraft at the dwarf planet Ceres must face the same fate.

    On Wednesday, the spacecraft failed to phone home, and it missed a scheduled connection on Thursday as well. This means that like the Kepler mission, Dawn has run out of hydrazine fuel, which the vehicle needs to orient itself and keep its antennas aligned with Earth. With no fuel, the spacecraft also cannot keep its solar panels turned toward the Sun.

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  9. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    The NASA Kepler team added a FAQ about the mission's fuel situation to its website in March of this year. In it, NASA says
    NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft Fuel Status Frequently Asked Questions

    So they saw the fuel depletion coming and told the public about it in advance.

    What they do not do is elaborate on exactly why the Kepler mission needs fuel to continue. It is fitted with reaction wheels for attitude control, which are powered by solar panels and do not consume propellant. NASA does not explain why the reaction wheel system is inadequate for Kepler to continue observing. There is probably a technical reason, but to anyone who understands what a reaction wheel control system is and who knows that Kepler has one, but is otherwise not intimately familiar with the technical details of the spacecraft, the question remains as to why the thrusters are strictly necessary for the continuation of the mission.
     
  10. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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    There could be an event(s) known for decades in advance which the PTB don't want documented. The end date of operations for selected space craft could be in this period. I was just reading Revelations 13:16.
    Revelation 13 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
     
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  11. pigfarmer

    pigfarmer tall, thin, irritable

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    In a new clip that Toroid posted Opportunity went dark because of a massive sandstorm and without the sunlight it can't charge its batteries. Curiosity has a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator and as far as I know is still cooking along. The Mars Odyssey orbiter is still function too.

    "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment."
     
  12. pigfarmer

    pigfarmer tall, thin, irritable

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    Wiki says "Reaction wheels can rotate a spacecraft only around its center of mass (see torque); they are not capable of moving the spacecraft from one place to another " I assume the thrusters with a finite fuel supply are necessary for occasional orbital adjustments beyond what a reaction wheel can provide. Maybe the use of those reaction wheels extends the fuel supply.
     
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  13. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    Reaction wheels can only provide rotational and not translational control, correct and as I said above. However, Kepler does not need translational control as it would only ever have had a very modest capability for that with its onboard thrusters and amount of propellant. Where it is currently situated, there is not a lot to choose between nearby areas of space that would have been in reach with its thruster system with full propellant.

    For some reason Kepler is dependent on its reaction wheel and thruster systems both for rotational control. They have apparently decided that they cannot even continue to use it with just the reaction wheel system in even a compromised fashion and are packing up the whole venture. It seems somewhat at odds with how NASA normally tries to eke out every last bit of functionality they can out of a spacecraft.
     
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  14. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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    There was a technical glitch with a Pegasus rocket that will launch the ICON satellite. This event could fall into the pattern we've seen.
    Technical Glitch Delays Launch of NASA's ICON Satellite on Pegasus Rocket
    Ionospheric Connection Explorer - Wikipedia
     
  15. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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    The Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble was shutdown due to a hardware glitch.
    https://gizmodo.com/hubble-space-telescope-faces-more-hardware-trouble-1831636773

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qAIGYPHZjE
     
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  16. Toroid

    Toroid Founding Member

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