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This illustration made available by NASA shows the Chandra X-ray Observatory. On Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, the space agency said that the telescope automatically went into so-called safe mode on Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem. (NASA/CXC/SAO via AP)

Another NASA space telescope shuts down in orbit

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Another NASA space telescope has shut down and halted science observations.

Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went offline, the Chandra X-ray Observatory did the same thing. NASA said Friday that Chandra's automatically went into so-called safe mode Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.

Hubble went into hibernation last Friday due to a gyroscope failure.

Both orbiting observatories are old: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19. Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both.

NASA says it's coincidental both went "asleep" within a week of one another. An astronomer who works on Chandra, Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted Friday that "Chandra decided that if Hubble could have a little vacation, it wanted one, too."

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