WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Another Space Telescope Enters “Safe Mode”

Artist illustration of the Chandra X-Ray telescope. Photo: NASA

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has entered safe mode and halted science observations, shortly after the Hubble Space Telescope shut down.

The observatory went offline less than a week after Hubble. NASA said the telescope went into so-called safe mode, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.

Chandra is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.

The telescopes use a set of gyroscopes to help navigate and steady the spacecraft. Hubble went offline due to a similar issue. Safe mode is automatically activated to protect the spacecraft if its computers thinks there might be a technical problem.

Both orbiting observatories launch on the space shuttle back in the 1990s. They’re old and in well-extended missions: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19. Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both.

NASA said it’s just a coincidence both shut down so close together.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

TOP