Hubble and Kepler - Are currently not in operation due to mechanical failure
(NASA via AP)
Two of NASA's top space telescopes, Hubble and Kepler, are currently not in operation - this is pretty sad news, and perhaps somewhat surprising, particularly for astronomers who depend on the data sets from NASA's telescopes which are showing their age.
The Hubble is currently 28-years old and has gone in a temporary safe mode on Friday after detecting a mechanical failure with one of its gyroscopes. The gyroscopes are a spinning instrument that keep the telescope pointed steadily toward its mission and ultimate targets.
Hubble and Kepler days are near
By putting the telescopes in sleep mode this will preserve it's remaining fuel levels until it can make contact with Deep Space Network. The Deep Space Network is a global system of antennae which spacecraft can communicate with Earth.
Unfortunately the end of Kepler is even closer now, but in a positive light the spacecraft has already operated for more than double of what the length had on the original mission (of 3.5 years).