September 28, 2022

NASA’s Swift Observatory in Safe Mode – Team Investigating Possible Reaction Wheel Failure

By NASA
January 20, 2022

Swift studies high-energy events in the universe such as gamma ray bursts, which may come from black holes being born from dying stars.

An artists making of the Swift Observatory with a gamma-ray burst going off in the background. Credit: Spectrum and NASA E/PO, Sonoma State University, Aurore Simonnet
On the evening of Tuesday, January 18, 2022, NASAs Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory entered into safe mode, suspending pointed science observations. The mission group is investigating a possible failure of among the spacecrafts response wheels as the cause.
The group has actually powered off the presumed wheel. The observatory and all its instruments are otherwise healthy and operating as prepared for. The observatory will remain in safe mode as a safety measure while the team even more examines the issue.
Swift has a total of 6 response wheels onboard. The team is working to restore science operations using five response wheels.

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